CARMEL, N.Y.— The town of Carmel has been selected as one of 10 statewide communities to participate in a new $3 million pilot program sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to help it better manage its sewer systems.

In the pilot program, an engineering firm will work free of charge with the town’s engineering department to develop asset management planning for Carmel Sewer District 4, 5, 6, and 7 to improve operations, management, and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plants and sewage collection and conveyance systems.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said the program is an example of the depth of the state’s investment.

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“Municipalities will receive expert advice and assistance at no cost, allowing them to better manage resources and serve communities,” he said. “A municipal sewage system that is properly functioning, well-maintained, and fiscally sustainable for the long-term will protect public health and safety, as well as the environment.”

According to Sabrina Ty, EFC president, the state is continuing to expand the tools and financial assistance that is available to municipalities in order to address their water infrastructure needs.

“This new pilot program will assist municipalities to more efficiently manage their existing systems while assessing future needs,” she said.

The town’s engineering department requested participation in the program in January 2016 and was notified this month that Carmel was selected.

The engineering department will work with the DEC, EFC, and the engineering firm Barton & Loguidice (B&L) to develop its municipal asset management plans. During the pilot, the town will implement the plans and provide feedback to DEC and EFC.

Officials said that system improvements help wastewater treatment plants owners operate facilities more efficiently by saving resources. They said asset management focuses on managing the critical and physical components of a wastewater system (e.g., treatment facilities, pipes, tanks and pumps) with the goal of minimizing the overall costs of owning and operating these assets while delivering quality services to customers and protecting public health and the environment.

For the pilot, DEC chose 10 communities with wastewater treatment plants that represent a variety of wastewater systems to learn how asset management works in different places around the state.

DEC will use the data gathered during the pilot program to finalize its asset management program guidance. The guidance will then be released for public comment before finalization.

Article provided by the town of Carmel Supervisor’s Office