Modified: July 30, 2015 4:55pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium) is joined by NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan to announce the start of construction on Phase II of the Rush Creek Interceptor Project. The project will involve the construction of sewers to collect wastewater from the Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Plant, three pumping stations, and three existing sewer overflows in the Blasdell area. These outdated facilities will be eliminated and their flows conveyed to the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Sewer Construction to Eliminate Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Plant, Pumping Stations, Overflows
Builds on Phase I Upgrades at Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility
ERIE COUNTY, NY—The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning Division of Sewerage Management has announced that today is the official start of construction for Phase II of the Rush Creek Interceptor Project, which will involve the construction of sewers to collect wastewater from the Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Plant, three pumping stations, and three existing sewer overflows in the Blasdell area. These outdated facilities will be eliminated through the Interceptor Project and their flows conveyed to the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility, which is currently undergoing an approximately $9.5 million upgrade to improve influent pumping and peak flow management as Phase I of the project.
Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan (149th District), Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon (9th District), Town Of Hamburg Deputy Supervisor Amy Ziegler, Village of Blasdell Mayor Mike Petrie, representatives of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) and NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (“NYSEFC”), and members of the Erie County Sewer District No. 3 (“ECSD No. 3”) Board of Managers to review the Phase II improvements and the overall project, which will consolidate and streamline the sewer service structure in the Southtowns corridor while enhancing water quality in the Woodlawn Beach State Park area.
“The Rush Creek Interceptor project is a concrete step forward for Erie County in building an infrastructure that protects and preserves our environment while providing better, more efficient services to residents. Sewer consolidations that have taken place over the past decade have brought us to this point and we are now putting in place a system that can better handle wastewater flows while eliminating older, less efficient facilities and the overflows that accompanied them,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “As I noted in my 'Initiatives for a Smart Economy' address, this project will better protect the Lake Erie water resources that are key to our blue economy. I thank our partners in government at NYSDEC, at NYSEFC, and at ECSD No. 3 for their collaboration in making this project a reality.”
In 2003 and 2007, Erie County merged the Village of Blasdell sanitary sewer system, including the Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Facility, and a portion of the Town of Hamburg’s sanitary sewer system with Erie County’s Sewer District No. 3. With these mergers, ECSD No. 3 took over three existing sanitary sewer overflows that presently discharge to waterways upstream of Lake Erie’s Woodlawn Beach State Park. The Rush Creek Interceptor Project was conceived in the early 2000s to eliminate the sanitary sewer overflows, the Blasdell Treatment Facility, and several pumping stations in the area. Ongoing modifications of the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (“AWTF”) will be completed to handle the additional flows.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-Buffalo) said, "Western New Yorkers love to take a trip to the beach during our warm summer months, but those trips are often prevented by contaminated water, especially at Woodlawn Beach in Hamburg. The Rush Creek Interceptor Project will help to clean up our water, and prevent sewage discharges which contaminate the beach. This project is a huge step forward for the future health and safety of Woodlawn Beach. I thank the state for investing in this important project, and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz for his leadership and support from the County."
“Western New York has no greater asset than its waterfront," said Senator Marc Panepinto (D-Buffalo). “As the representative of Erie County's entire share of the Lake Erie waterfront, from Niagara to Chautauqua, its environmental and recreational preservation is of the utmost importance. Phase II of this invaluable project will provide the protections necessary for a waterway free of harmful pollutants. The elimination of outdated facilities is paramount to that goal. During one of the hottest weeks of the summer especially, our residents deserve to enjoy their waterfront. I’m proud to stand alongside Erie County Executive Poloncarz and my colleagues in government to ensure a cleaner, safer experience for generations to come.”
Total investment in the Rush Creek Interceptor Project is approximately $16 million, with Phase II construction being conducted in conjunction with Phase I improvements at the Southtowns AWTF. The project was awarded a $5 million NYSDEC water quality improvement project grant, with the remainder financed through low-interest loans provided by the NYSEFC and ultimately paid back by the ratepayers of ECSD. No. 3.
“New York State and the Environmental Facilities Corporation are pleased to assist Erie County and its partners in addressing this important environmental project,” said Sabrina M. Ty, EFC president and CEO. “This low-cost financing will save money for local ratepayers by modernizing the system and eliminating outdated facilities.”
“Erie County and the Town of Hamburg are addressing a serious environmental issue, and the Department of Environmental Conservation is pleased to be part of the solution,” said Acting NYSDEC Commissioner Marc Gerstman. “DEC’s $5 million Water Quality Improvement Project grant will help eliminate sewage overflows to Rush Creek and Blasdell Creek, which improves water quality in Western New York.”
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management, visit