Corning Wastewater Treatment Plant may need upgrades to meet standards

Upgrades will likely need to be made at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharge levels.

Wastewater treatment plant

Corning’s wastewater treatment plant, built in 1969, will likely need upgrades to meet new pollution control standards, according to City Manager Mark Ryckman. Eric Wensel/The Leader


Upgrades will likely need to be made at the city’s wastewater treatment plant to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharge levels.

City Manager Mark Ryckman said a study will likely be done later this year to assess the situation.

“I’m currently seeking (state) grant funds to help pay for a portion of the study cost,” Ryckman said. “I expect the cost to be somewhere around $25,000. The cost to upgrade the treatment plant is unknown. We’ll learn that from the study.”

The study will determine how the wastewater treatment plant will be redesigned and the potential cost of the work.

The needed work on the wastewater treatment plant is driven by The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Cleanup Initiative, which seeks to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads coming from wastewater plants.

Ryckman said the city is unsure when work to upgrade the wastewater treatment will begin or be completed.

“We’re going to have to meet the new standards,” Ryckman said.

As land use patterns change and the watershed’s population grows, the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay waters has increased tremendously, according to the Watershed Cleanup Initiative.

Each year, roughly 300 million pounds of polluting nitrogen reaches the Chesapeake Bay

The wastewater plant, built in 1969, processes about one million gallons of wastewater a day, and on days of heavy rains that amount often rises to about 6.5 million gallons a day, said Larry Wagner, Corning superintendent of public works.

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