Modified: December 1, 2016 4:40pm
The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning Division of Sewerage Management has announced a major milestone for Phase II of the Rush Creek Interceptor Project, which involved 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. This week, these outdated facilities have been officially placed offline through the Interceptor Project and all flows from the area are now conveyed to the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (“AWTF”), which itself underwent an approximately $9.5 million upgrade to improve influent pumping and peak flow management as Phase I of the project. This significant investment in wastewater infrastructure has consolidated and streamlined the sewer service structure in the Southtowns corridor in addition to enhancing water quality in the Woodlawn Beach State park area.
“This project represents an investment in better, more efficient services as well as in infrastructure that protects and preserves our environment. The Rush Creek Interceptor allows us to replace aging and outdated sewer facilities and all the issues they entail with an upgraded system that is far better equipped to handle wastewater flows without compromising our natural environment,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “As I noted in my ‘Initiatives for a Smart Economy’ , this project will better protect the Lake Erie water resources that are critical 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.”
NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan (149th District) said, "We are fortunate to live right next to one of the world’s greatest freshwater resources, Lake Erie. Unfortunately, the health of the lake has suffered for many years due to neglect and historically poor decisions. Lake Erie has made a remarkable comeback in recent decades, but there are ongoing challenges to the health of the lake. The Rush Creek Interceptor project is a major step forward in improving the health of Lake Erie and our beaches. 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. I thank the state for investing in this important project, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for his leadership and support from the county."
Total investment for both phases of the Rush Creek Interceptor project is approximately $16 million, with Phase II improvements initiated in Summer 2015 after Phase I upgrades at the Southtowns AWTF were already underway. Although final accounting for the project has not yet been completed, Phase II improvements are expected to come in under budget. The project was awarded a $5 million NYSDEC water quality improvement project grant, with the remaining funding financed through low-interest loans provided by the NYSEFC and ECSD No.3 capital reserves. The remaining Phase II work includes the demolition of two eliminated pumping station buildings and restoration of areas impacted by construction.
“New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is pleased to have provided necessary grant funding and approvals for this project, which will help manage and treat wet weather flows within the sewer district,” said DEC Region 9 Director Abby Snyder. “The project will improve water quality by eliminating three sewer overflows to area waterways, and enhance wet weather flow handling and treatment at the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility. This project demonstrates Erie County’s long-term commitment to working cooperatively with DEC to improve treatment capacity at this plant and protect our valuable water resources.”
NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Sabrina Ty added, “EFC is proud to have partnered with Erie County on the Rush Creek Interceptor Project. This project will not only help to eliminate overflows into Rush Creek, it will also improve Lake Erie’s water quality."
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 discharged to waterways upstream of Lake Erie’s Woodlawn Beach State Park. The Rush Creek Interceptor project was conceived in the early 2000’s to eliminate the sanitary sewer overflows, the Blasdell treatment facility, and several pumping stations in the area. Modifications of the Southtowns AWTF were completed to handle the additional flows.
Phase I construction for the Rush Creek Interceptor project was completed by Kandey Company, South Buffalo Electric, and Quackenbush, with engineering design and construction phase services provided by GHD Consulting Engineers. Phase II construction was completed by Kandey Company and Industrial Power & Lighting (IPL), with engineering design and construction phase services provided by AECOM.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management, visit