© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

Erie County to spend millions on sewer facility upgrades

Buffalo Water Authority

With Erie County's sewage treatment facilities aging and sometimes overloading, the county is preparing for another round of improvements and renovations to the wastewater infrastructure.

County sewer districts cover much of Erie County, with some districts sending their waste to the Buffalo Sewer Authority and its plant on Unity Island. Others have their own treatment plants, some built a long time ago and showing wear.

Besides that, there are a lot of overflow valves. When the rain overloads capacity in part of the system, valves open allowing rain and wastewater to flow into some waterway.

Assistant Sanitary Engineer John Mallory spoke to a public hearing Thursday night in the County Legislature chamber. Mallory said there will be work in District Two serving the county's southwestern section.

"Improvements at the Big Sister treatment plant for $800,000," he said. "We're going to do pumping state improvements for $1.5 million at the Sweetland pump station and also collection improvements for $500,000."

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond
Assistant Sanitary Engineer John Mallory speaks in Erie County Legislature Chambers.

The county has to approve projects for the sewer districts and the fees to pay for them. While cost estimates are pretty solid, the effect on customer bills will depend on issues from interest rates to potential state or federal construction aid.

Erie County plans more work in District Three, which covers a large swath of the county from Lake Erie to the eastern county line. More than $10 million for sewer line and pumping station renovations and an extension of a treatment plant disposal line farther out into Lake Erie is planned.

"We're doing some pumping station improvements estimated to cost $4.5 million. The number one station on that list is Rogers Road. It needs some improvements first, and then what money we have left over from that we're going to use for other pumping station improvements," Mallory said. "And the third item is collection system improvements. There's $1 million for that and it's going to be for sanitary sewer."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
Related Content