Over a decade in the making, Bedford's water filtration plant will be coming online this summer, changing the source of water for some 7,000 customers in Bedford Hills and Katonah from groundwater wells to the Delaware Aqueduct.
Testing of the plant's systems will take place later this month and the plant should begin producing water for locals by August.
Check out the video posted with this story for a recent tour of the plant, hosted by Kevin Winn, Bedford's public works commissioner, and Steven Wescott, construction engineer on the project, who explain how the water is treated.
The filtration plant addresses the town's long-standing need to improve the water quality for the 7,000 customers in the Consolidated Water District. Rising nitrate levels in the water supply—possibly leaked from local septic tanks—prompted the plant's construction, after replacement wells were investigated and determined not to be a viable solution.
The softer, potable water also carries a higher price tag—the average customer's bill will double from about $720 to about $1,520.
The massive project —including the building construction, electrical needs, plumbing, heating/cooling and the water main—and close to 30 regulatory and technical permits, before
The $22 million project is being paid for through funds borrowed from the Environmental Facilities Corporation and whereby the DOC will become a water customer of the town and help to pay for the construction and annual operating costs.
The water will come from the Delaware Aqueduct, which also supplies New York City with its drinking water. An 18-foot tunnel that runs upstate connects to a shaft just east of the water plant’s site. A 16-inch pipe will carry the raw water from the shaft to the plant for filtration.
The water is then disinfected using an ultraviolet and chlorination process (see video for details) and from there it will enter the distribution system to be pumped to 7,000 people in 2,300 homes and about 1,000 inmates and staff at the corrections facility.
New York City will measure the water taken from the aqueduct and charge the town on a per-gallon basis. If the Aqueduct is down, the system can access water from the Cross River Reservoir.
“Currently, the estimated use per day in this area averages a million gallons a day but the plant has a two million gallon per day capacity,” said Wescott.
The 19,000 square-foot facility includes three separate buildings housed in a barn-like space covered in local stone: A maintenance and equipment garage, the administration building and an operations center.
The plant—to be be staffed by five town employees and backed up by an emergency generator—includes an operations room to monitor on-site and remote operation of nearby wells and water towers. A touch screen system will monitor the flow rates and capacity and a lab for testing water quality will be housed in the “silo” part of the building.
The town of Bedford is hosting an information session on the plant for the public on Mar. 20 at 7 p.m. at the town house.