Did you know? Facts about PY treatment plant, Keuka Outlet

To the Editor:

Did you know ...

• That the Penn Yan Waste Treatment Plant discharges 1.2 million gallons of effluent every day down the Keuka Outlet.

Effluent is the liquid after the solid is taken out of sewage. This liquid is not disinfected by the plant and is highly contaminated with E-coli and coliform bacteria. The sewage from septic systems is brought to the plant by 16 contractors that service all of Keuka Lake, parts of Seneca Lake and Penn Yan.

• That the DEC states in its new permit that the sun will kill the bacteria in the water.

But in reality, the DEC does not know what is in the Keuka Outlet because in the past 20 years the agency has not tested the Outlet to know the concentration of E-coli.

• That Seneca Lakes Pure Waters Association has tested the Outlet since 2014 and has found it highly polluted with E-coli and coliform bacteria.

• That the new permit states that the Keuka Outlet is eight miles, long enough to kill the bacteria as it makes its way down the Outlet to pollute Seneca Lake.

But as we measure, it is between 5-6 miles long and does not take into account that E-coli does not die in water, and we have very little real sunlight in the spring, fall and winter in this area.

• That in August, 2017 the PYWTP discharged 35,000 gallons of partially treated sewage into the Keuka Outlet due to employee error. A consent order was issued by the DEC, and we are almost two years later and nothing has been done. Twas to be an alarm system in place, the engineering study has not been completed. No cost analysis has been done to determine the cost of six months disinfection or 12 months.

• That Penn Yan has a responsibility to disinfect 12 months a year. Disinfecting only six months directly affects the quality of water going down the Outlet and contributes to the deterioration of Seneca Lake.

EILEEN MORELAND

Dresden

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