Elmira city council meeting discusses future plans for wastewater treatment plants

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — On July 1, the Chemung County Sewer Districts announced during a city council meeting that they will be consolidating two plants into one by 2025.

Currently, the Chemung County Sewer Districts operate two plants: one on Lake Street and the other on Milton Street in Elmira.

They are planning to discontinue the plant on Lake Street and expand the plant on Milton Street. Ali Rennie, senior wastewater engineer for Chemung County Sewer Districts, explained why they aim to finish this project before 2025.

“The drivers behind this project is that our environmental regulations are changing,” said Rennie. “There are mandates coming down from the state and the federal regulations and so this is a project to be in compliance with those mandates.”

This project will increase sewer bill costs, but it will be in line with other cities.

Tom Rhoads, executive director for Chemung County Sewer Districts, said wastewater treatment is fundamental.

“It’s one of those infrastructures that is underground, so we forget about it,” said Rhoads. “This is very necessary for our community and your community to prosper.”

If the project is not completed by 2025, Rhoads said it would expose everyone in the sewer district to significant penalties or even moratorium. This would force people to not expand their business or add additional development and growth. Therefore, they are hoping to avoid this issue by working on it now.

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