OSWEGO — The city is investing $2 million towards $5 million in upgrades to its Water Treatment Plant, officially known as the McCaffrey Water Treatment Plant on the city’s westside just to the east of SUNY Oswego.
In a recent interview, Oswego Mayor William Barlow explained what that entails.
“That project,” he said, “it was originally estimated to be a $6.3 million project. We went and secured a $3 million state grant back in 2019, a WIIA (New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act) grant. We’re installing a backup generator, because right now, when we see a bad winter storm, or some thunder cells, I have to call New York State Department of Transportation and request a backup generator, and they send one up from Utica, and it’s a real pain. Some general contracting will be done at the plant, just fixing the overall structure of the plant. This project will include upgrading all the electrical throughout the entire plant. We’re installing a new 10-million-gallon-a-day pump to better distribute the water into our distribution system. Currently the plant is a gas chlorine system based plant. We’re converting it to a sodium-hypochlorite system plant, and that will make the plant run more efficient, and it’s also much more safe. When you have a lot of chlorine, like we do at the plant, it can be combustible, and it’s very dangerous. So, that conversion will help with the safety to the public, the plant employees, and make the plant run more efficient. We’re also replacing all valves and meters throughout the entire plant.
“The expected price was $6.3 million,” Barlow said. “We secured a $3 million grant in 2019, but all these present bids (on upgrades to the plant) add up to just under $5 million. Local share is $2 million.”