Local News

City of Cortland Awarded $2.2 Million Dollar Water Quality Grant


The City of Cortland has announced it has been awarded a $2.2 million dollar grant from the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

In a release, the city says the grant monies will go towards crucial improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment facility plant that includes a process that was developed and piloted by the City of Cortland in reducing the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the Tioughnioga River and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“We are grateful to the state DEC for their support and recognition of the importance of improving critical infrastructure in our community,” said Mayor Scott Steve. “This grant allows us to make important upgrades that will benefit the city’s environment and residents and help improve water quality downstream of the Tioughnioga and Susquehanna rivers.”

The grant will cover 75% of the city’s cost in the improvement project which will increase efficiency and the overall performance of the wastewater treatment systems. This will include the installation of a new aeration blower to breakdown organic matter such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The City of Cortland will contribute nearly $550,000 to complete the project.

“This award is a testimony to the expertise and dedication of our staff, as well as the continuing support of the administration, Council, and community. Completing this project will put the facility on firm ground to meet its Chesapeake Bay requirements for many years to come.” said Wastewater Superintendent Bruce Adams.

Both the leadership and innovations at the wastewater treatment plant can be attested to Bruce Adams and his staff, Mayor Steve noted. Steve continued on stating in a release Adams led the staff-initiated pilot process which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of removing pollutant causing nutrients using a cycled-air process together with a modified solids-handling approach.

“Bruce and his team found an innovative process and the state funds will assure the long-term viability of this project and improve the city’s wastewater infrastructure and environmental conservation efforts,” Steve said.

Work on the project is expected to begin this spring. No set completion date was given.

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