The Village of Saugerties wastewater plant has been experiencing heightened flows, and town officials suspect the additional water may come from illegal sewer connections. According to Village Water Superintendent Mike Marino, “anything that doesn’t [connect] from a toilet, sink, shower or washing machine is illegal unless it’s approved by the village.” Village and town water employees will be conducting home and business inspections in sections of the village and Barclay Heights; affected households will be notified via mail beforehand.
“If we can let people know that it’s a cost to them for us to treat this rainwater that there’s no reason to treat, the extra cost goes directly to the sewer taxpayers. A lot of them do have their roof drains and sump pumps connected to the sewer systems. A lot of them are just connected because they don’t recognize that it’s illegal to do that,” said Marino. “That water that comes off the roof and the water that goes into the basements should be pumped out onto the ground away from the building.”
Establishments equipped with illegal connections will be given a second date after their initial inspection to correct by which they need to correct the problem.
Marino said that other factors could be contributing to the problem — meltwater or “a broken pipe somewhere” could also produce higher-than-normal amounts of water treated by the plant. But Marino said the extent of additional water indicates illegal connections to the sewer system.
Appointments for inspection can be made with the Village of Saugerties by calling (845) 246-2331. Barclay Heights residents can call the town Wastewater Department at (845) 246-8671.