DANSVILLE — The asbestos contamination running into the Wastewater Treatment Plant will not harm any residents.
The LMC Industrial Contractors are having a problem with the asbestos running off into the plant through their pipes.
Mayor Peter Vogt told Genesee Country Express this problem has no effect on the public.
“The LMC facility has apparently leaked some of the asbestos from their pipe cleaning process into our Wastewater Treatment Plant,” he said. “It is giving us some issues we need to discuss with our engineers on how we get that out of there. It is not bad as long as it stays in the water. The amount that is in there is way below the threshold that the state sets for us to release that into the environment. Where it becomes a problem is when we take the sludge and compost it.”
“It becomes dried out and depending on how much is in it, it becomes a problem in the air,” Vogt continued. “It gets dusty in there after it dries out, and it becomes a safety issue for our employees. Right now we don’t believe there is any in the composting facility. We are taking measures to test it at this point in time to make sure everything is fine.”
Vogt said the plant is not releasing any of the compost, or taking it out of the facility until they know it is safe.
“We just found about the contamination about a week ago,” he said. “We were informed by the engineering firm by LMC that it was an issue. We don’t know the extent of it right now. There will be a meeting on Feb. 21 with our engineers and some people from the DEC to determine how we want to proceed.”
Vogt added the plant is working fine, and there are no issues with the daily operations.
“We are not doing anything with the tank that we believe most of the contamination is in, or releasing the composting,” he said. “It is confined right now to the best of our knowledge. To be safe we are not releasing anything until we know for sure. It does not affect the village at all, because we are not using it outside of the facility.”
Vogt mentioned this is not a long term problem and can be fixed.
“When the sewage comes in from the collection system in the village, and in the township areas that are served by us, that water comes in with all the sludge. It goes into a big tank called the sequence batch reactor. That separates the sludge from the water,” he said. “The water is removed and that goes out into Canaseraga Creek. That is all fine, and doesn’t violate any laws. The sludge is moved to one out of two digesters. I goes through the aeration process. From the digesters it gets pumped into the press room where they press the water out. The pressed out take goes through the composting process.”
Vogt said the compost is used for trees and lawns in the village.
“We haven’t distributed any to the public yet, but once we are assured it is fine, and the village has used what it needs, we will make any surplus available to village residents” Vogt said. “What is happening is that when the sludge goes into the digester tanks we only drain one digester at a time. So far we haven’t drained the tank where all the sludge has been collected from this recent contamination. It is not affecting the public in any way.”