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Gouverneur village will upgrade water plant

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday night to spend $2.5 million to improve the water filtration plant, which should remedy water quality issues over the last few years.

“Much needed, a long time coming,” Mayor Ronald P. MacDougall said. “We need an upgrade.”

The village previously replaced one of four filters at the plant as a test to see if that was an appropriate way to refurbish the plant.

The new project will include replacement of the plant’s three other filters and under-drains, Mickey G. Lehman, vice president of Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown, said.

Work on the filter system accounts for nearly $2 million of the project.

The additional $500,000 will be used to replace and repair various parts of the building, including heating and ventilation, the chimney and cap, various exterior and interior doors, the entrance, ceilings and separation walls, and to install energy-efficient lighting.

“It’s an old plant,” Mr. Lehman said.

Loan financing will be through the state Environmental Facilities Corp.

“We applied, hoping the village would be eligible for a grant, but the water rates were too low,” Mr. Lehman said.

The cost of the $2.5 million project, financed over 20 years, will mean an increase of $38 annually for most residential customers.

The village water system has had problems for some time. The state Health Department is notifying users of a recent problem with turbidity levels, which is a measure indicating the effectiveness of the treatment program.

“They have received these before,” Mr. Lehman said.

Mr. McDougall said he hoped the latest notice would be the last that water system users receive.

The work should also improve the quality of water in town lines that comes from the village that is caused by disinfection products.

The level is often more pronounced in town lines because the byproduct tends to increase the longer water is in contact with chlorine. The more users and flow there is, the less likelihood of the presence of byproducts.

“This is another piece of the puzzle for that entire process,” Mr. Lehman said.

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