Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Fecal Fountain, Having Flown, Flows On

Smell that? That's the smell of Oneida County's "government". And you're going to be smelling it for at least seven more years.

The Oneida County Board of Legislators had one day to see a revised state-and-county agreement crafted to address a $66 million sewer problem, but the short time frame didn't stop legislators from unanimously supporting the deal.

Although County Executive Anthony Picente could have signed the agreement without the board's consent, he said he wanted legislators to be involved. They voted 29-0 to support the terms of the deal at their Wednesday board meeting.

Some legislators, however, questioned whether they had enough time to properly review the problem and order before voting.

"We should have been allowed to have more time to review this," said Legislator William Goodman, D-Whitesboro.

It's absolutely amazing how quickly these folks can work. Of course, raw sewage flowing into the Mohawk River is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible...which is why we need to study it for three more years. Then we get to fiddle around for another four years figuring out how to actually, you know, fix the problem.

You know what the best part of this "deal" is? It's going to pump even more feces into the Mohawk River. Oh, and it's going to make the already serious surface water problems in the Whitestown/New Hartford area even worse.

Yes, you heard that right.

From the terms of the agreement, such as they are:

•For new sewer permits and those that were pending, the county has to show the state that for every one gallon of wastewater that will go into the sewer system, five gallons will be removed.

The problem being that the new connections to the defective sewer system will be pumping "black water" into the system. That's water contaminated with human waste.

The "five gallons" of water the County plans on "removing" from the system? Since none of the permitted projects are installing their own own waste treatment facilities that water is going to be "grey water", essentially rainwater and surface runoff.

Which means that every time the defective Sauquoit pumping station overflows it will be dumping sewage with an even higher concentration of feces and urine into the Mohawk River than ever before. The grey water? Instead of going into the pipes of the sewage system it will have to be diverted to surface holding ponds and ditch works. The residents of the area that have already seen their back yards, driveways, and landscaping washed away by uncontrolled surface flow can now look forward to having even more water to deal with.

Another fine bit of work from our talented government officials in Oneida County.