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Lake George leaders wrestle with sewer, water woes

In July 2010, Lake George Town employees discover an underground drain pipe, one of six under Battlefield Park that have been draining groundwater illegally into the town septic sewer mains. Old-timers speculate that the pipes were installed underneath the park decades ago by the state when they created the park, as the land was once swamp. Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said Aug. 12 that for decades, the state’s pipes have dumped both clean groundwater and sewage from their nearby Battleground campsites into the town’s sewer main, which is costing local taxpayers of the Caldwell Sewer District by boosting their costs of sewer treatment at the village sewer plant, which is billed on a volume basis to the District. He said the town would be making attempts to collect payment from the state for the costs of this sewage treatment and disposal.

In July 2010, Lake George Town employees discover an underground drain pipe, one of six under Battlefield Park that have been draining groundwater illegally into the town septic sewer mains. Old-timers speculate that the pipes were installed underneath the park decades ago by the state when they created the park, as the land was once swamp. Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said Aug. 12 that for decades, the state’s pipes have dumped both clean groundwater and sewage from their nearby Battleground campsites into the town’s sewer main, which is costing local taxpayers of the Caldwell Sewer District by boosting their costs of sewer treatment at the village sewer plant, which is billed on a volume basis to the District. He said the town would be making attempts to collect payment from the state for the costs of this sewage treatment and disposal. Photo by Thom Randall.

— For decades, the state of New York has been discharging water into town-owned sewer mains, and local municipal officials said this week they are going to charge them for the expense of sewer treatment — and assess fines if they don’t pay up.

This announcement by town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson touched on one of several water and sewer problems that the Lake George Town Board focused on during their Aug. 12 meeting.

Town Board member Dan Hurley said that a broken sewer pipe underneath state land — either Battlefield Park or the adjacent state campgrounds — was allowing groundwater to infiltrate and flow into the town’s sewer main. He said that engineers operating a remote camera in the sewer main observed that when it was raining, the camera would become submerged with water.

Dickinson noted this wastewater was pumped into the village sewer plant, and that the town residents had been needlessly paying for treatment of this water, at least since 1983. Dickinson added that the sewage from the state’s facilities — including rest rooms serving 58 campsites on Battleground Campgrounds, the Million Dollar Beach bathhouse rest rooms, and the Lake George Park Commission headquarters, were all flowing into the sewer main and this wastewater was being treated at the expense of Caldwell Sewer District residents’ expense.

Dickinson suggested that an estimate be prepared of the total of this wastewater flow, and the state be billed for it this year. He continued that he had discussed the issue with the town attorney. In the past, state officials have claimed the wastewater wasn't theirs.

The board also approved collecting $1,250 from Kubricky Construction to pay to remove of chunks of asphalt found in town sewer pipes — apparently waste resulting from Kubricky’s recent reconstruction of Beach Road.

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