Article 5-A of New York State County Law authorized the County to create a County Sewer Agency to evaluate sewer infrastructure needs, prepare maps and plans, and recommend to the County Legislature the creation or expansion of County sewer district(s) as may be necessary and in the best interest of the people of Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua County Sewer Agency was established by the Chautauqua County Legislature on May 27, 2015.
As its first task, the Sewer Agency worked to assess the feasibility of installing sewer infrastructure along the west side of Chautauqua Lake. Chautauqua Lake has a Total Maximum Daily Load for Phosphorous that recommends the installation of a municipal wastewater collection system to replace failing or inadequate private septic systems. Excessive phosphorous concentrations in Chautauqua Lake were resulting dense growth of aquatic weeds and Harmful Algal Blooms. A Map, Plan and Report was prepared to determine if such a collection system was technically feasible and economically viable. The Report recommended a sewer district extension with a hybrid collection system of low pressure sewers, pump stations and force mains to convey wastewater flows to the existing South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District infrastructure at a cost of approximately $17 million. The County Legislature accepted the Sewer Agency’s recommendation to move forward with the project, form the sewer district and obtain funding. The outcome was a project to extend the South and Center Sewer District from Ashville to Stow, which is in final design with construction anticipated to begin this spring.
With its first mission completed, the Sewer Agency was again convened to determine the feasibility of forming a County sewer district in the Towns of Mina, Sherman and French Creek. Findley Lake in the Town of Mina also has a Total Maximum Daily Load for Phosphorous that recommended the installation of a municipal wastewater collection system to replace approximately 450 failing or inadequate private septic systems. Feasibility Assessment Studies were undertaken to examine the option of building a regional collection system that would pump wastewater flows from the Town of Mina to the existing Village of Sherman Wastewater Treatment Plant and examine the option of building a regional system to collect wastewater flows from the Town of Mina and Town of French and construct a new Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Sewer Agency is expected to make its recommendation to the Chautauqua County Legislature this spring.