New York state has awarded a $343,000 grant to the town of Lake George to repair and upgrade wastewater collection infrastructure and to protect the water quality of Lake George.
The funding is provided through the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act and is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality statewide.
“I enthusiastically supported the Clean Water Infrastructure Act to help small communities that lack sufficient financial resources fund important projects just like this one,” said Sen. Betty Little. “Investing in infrastructure that protects our lakes and rivers has so many benefits and will pay dividends for local residents and bolster our tourism-based economy for many years to come. So many visitors are attracted to our region for the beauty and quality of our waterways.”
“I am very pleased to see this money being awarded to the town of Lake George for their much needed wastewater project” said Assemblyman Dan Stec said. “Protecting the water quality of Lake George is vital to both the regions environmental and economic health.”
Town of Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said the grant will give the town “the resources to do critical repairs to the Caldwell Sewer District at the south end of the lake. Securing this grant exemplifies the strong partnership we hold with the state to protect the waters of Lake George and the public’s enjoyment of Million Dollar Beach.”
“Investing in water infrastructure helps safeguard our communities and continues to foster economic growth across New York,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Our $2.5 billion clean water infrastructure investment is playing a critical role in our efforts to preserve the state’s natural resources, and by supporting these water system upgrades, we are ensuring New York’s environment remains protected for generations to come.”
Officials said the Environmental Facilities Corp. will provide funding from the Clean Water Infrastructure Act to support this project. With this funding, the town of Lake George will repair and upgrade sewer lines and other infrastructure to prevent overflows and leakage of wastewater into the environment. This is part of the effort to improve water quality of Lake George and to address closures of Million Dollar Beach.
Million Dollar Beach is now open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty Saturday and Sunday daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Swimming is permitted only when the water temperature is at least 65 degrees. The boat launch is open daily during the boating season.
In 2016, elevated bacteria levels in the southern end of Lake George resulted in several closures of Million Dollar Beach. DEC initiated an extensive investigation to determine the sources of bacteria impacting the beach. This investigation continued in 2017 as a cooperative effort between state and local government and private organizations.
Partners in this effort included the state Department of Health, village of Lake George, town of Lake George, Lake George Association, Lake Champlain/Lake George Regional Planning Board, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, Lake George Waterkeeper, and Lake George Park Commission.
Due to the consistently high bacteria levels detected near the confluence of East Brook, much of the investigation work focused on tracking down and eliminating sources of bacterial contamination within the East Brook watershed, officials said. This work included inspecting and testing sewer and stormwater infrastructure. DEC and partners conducted field surveys and collected water quality samples to isolate hotspot areas and focus on follow-up infrastructure inspections.
Findings from an updated evaluation of the sewage collection system in the town of Lake George’s Caldwell Sewer District revealed defects in numerous pipe segments, manholes, and the pump station near the lake and Million Dollar Beach. The grant awarded to Lake George, along with $245,000 in Water Quality Improvement Project grants awarded in 2017, will help address these deficiencies or otherwise improve Lake George water quality.
The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 is investing $2.5 billion in clean and drinking water infrastructure projects and water quality protection across New York. As part of the Act, the state Environmental Facilities Corp. is authorized to provide funding in support of municipal water quality infrastructure programs.