Modified: January 31, 2018 3:44pm

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The Erie County Division of Sewerage Management has announced that its Rush Creek Interceptor project was selected for the “2017 Environmental Project of the Year” award by the Western New York Branch of the American Public Works Association (WNY-APWA).  The award will be presented at WNY-APWA’s annual awards banquet on February 8, 2018.


“The Rush Creek Interceptor project represents an investment in better, more efficient services as well as in infrastructure that protects and preserves our environment. This significant upgrade, a key project in my Initiatives for a Smart Economy plan, allowed Erie County to replace aging and outdated sewer facilities with an upgraded system that is far better equipped to handle wastewater flows without compromising our natural environment,” said Erie County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. “The project has been a game-changer in Erie County and is well-deserving of this APWA recognition. I thank our partners in government, at NYSDEC, at NYSEFC, and at ECSD No. 3 for their collaboration in making the Rush Creek Interceptor a reality.”


Assemblyman Sean Ryan (NY-149) added, "The implementation of the Rush Creek Interceptor project has been amazing to see. The district I represent borders Lake Erie, and I often hear from constituents who are inconvenienced by beach closures, and who have concerns about water quality. The Rush Creek Interceptor project helps to address this critical issue. I am thankful New York State provided significant funding for this project, and it has been great to work with County Executive Poloncarz and Erie County to see this project move forward. This has been a great example of a state and local government partnership delivering results. I thank the Western New York Branch of the American Public Works Association for selecting this project for this great honor."


In 2003 and 2007, Erie County merged the Village of Blasdell sanitary sewer system, including the Blasdell Wastewater Treatment Plant (“WWTP”), and a portion of the Town of Hamburg’s sanitary sewer system with Erie County’s Sewer District (“ECSD”) 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 concept was developed by the County to use a regional approach to eliminate the sanitary sewer overflows, the Blasdell WWTP, and several pumping stations in the area.  This $15.6 million initiative consisted of two distinct phases: the first consisted of upgrading the Southtowns Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (“AWTF”) to improve influent pumping and peak flow management so that additional flows may be handled at the facility, while the second phase involved the installation of a new interceptor sewer and force main to eliminate the overflows, pumping stations, and the Blasdell WWTP.  


The elimination of the facilities and consolidation of the sewer systems also aligns with Smart Growth principles by merging local sewer systems into one regional operation, which reduces operation and maintenance costs and removes the need to upgrade aging facilities.  Eliminating facilities requiring power and replacing them with a gravity sewer also produces a net positive effect on energy use with resulting greenhouse gas reductions. In addition, the elimination of overflows has had a positive impact on water quality by addressing a bacteria source identified by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at Woodlawn Beach State Park.


The general contractor for both phases of construction was Kandey Company, with Phase I engineering design and construction phase services provided by GHD Consulting Engineers and Phase II engineering services by AECOM. 




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On the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management, visit