Prior to 1972, the City of Gloversville owned and operated a wastewater treatment plant located on Harrison Street in the City of Gloversville for many years. This plant was over-utilized, while the City of Johnstown had sewer collection, but no wastewater treatment. The receiving waterway, the Cayadutta Creek, was severely impacted for several decades by partially and untreated wastewater.
On May 22, 1964, the City of Gloversville and the City of Johnstown executed the Joint Sewer Contract, or the
Intermunicipal Agreement. This agreement was developed since both cities were ordered by the State of New York to construct a sewage treatment facility. Both cities agreed that a joint sewage treatment plant was the best option. This agreement also created the Joint Sewer Board.
During the late 1960's, a trunk sewer
was constructed from East State Street in Johnstown to the proposed
Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility (GJJWTF).
This trunk sewer, plus the previously constructed trunk sewer from
Harrison Street to East State Street, was designed to convey all
wastewater from both cities to the proposed joint sewer plant.
During 1970 and 1971, the GJJWTF was under construction. Designed by
Morrell Vrooman Engineers, of Gloversville, New York, the facility
first recorded flow from the trunk sewer on January 17, 1972. By
February 27, 1972, full flow to the facility was realized,
approximately 11.0 million gallons per day. Twenty (20) full-time
employees were employed by the end of 1972 to operate the facility.
Since 1972, 100% of the wastewater collected by the trunk sewer is
treated at the GJJWTF 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
In the mid 1980's industry was mandated to add pretreatment systems to reduce the organic load to the wastewater plant. These pretreatment systems greatly reduced loadings experienced prior to the EPA mandate. Local industry, predominantly from the Leather and Tanning sector, contributed over 80% of the organic loading to GJJWTF at this time.
During 1989 to 1990, a major upgrade to the facility occurred. Designed by Stearns & Wheler, Environmental Engineers & Scientists of Cazenovia, New York, this $40 million upgrade provided expanded treatment capacity by adding new wastewater infrastructure to the south side of the Cayadutta Creek and improvements to existing infrastructure.
A significant second upgrade to the plant occurred in 2009 to 2010. Digester enhancements, cogeneration engines, whey storage, and new belt presses were installed during this $11 million capital project.
The facility continues to be the largest wastewater treatment facility in Fulton County.