Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Plattsburgh proactive about clean water

By Alexis Archilla

PLATTSBURGH N.Y. ­ When it comes to our natural source of water, it is vital to make

sure that we are drinking and using the best of the best. But when things go wrong it’s

up to the Water Pollution Control Plant to make sure that the city of Plattsburgh receives

quality water.

Kristofer R. Gushlaw, the assistant chief plant operator sees all the actions that

are made to cleansing the water so that it is accessible for public usage.

“I created a booklet that is a step by step process on how things work” said


Not only does he help with assisting the chief operator David Powell but he

maintains stability by making sure that the machinery is working properly and makes

sure that the water is ready for testing.

The Water Pollution Control Plant began running on November 3, 1973. It took

around 3 years to build the plant and averages around 4 million gallons a day. It costed

11,960,000 dollars with close to 7 million given from the Federal and State grant.

There are 7 steps that are broken down, to ensure that the water is safe for the

public. First there is the screening phase, next is grit removal, followed by the low lift

pumping then the primary clarification phase, aeration, disinfection, the sludge

dewatering which is then taken to the laboratory.

This past August the Plattsburgh City Beach had failed a public safety test in

which it took only a couple days till Plattsburgh officials discussed the issue to let people

swim, even though there were people at the beach the day after the testing, a couple

people were ill due to the bacteria and enterococci.

Liz Strzepa, a reporter for WPTZ, mentions that the enterococci and bacteria is

formed from soil runoff and fecal matter. Another reason why it could've been triggered

was due to the warm water and the lack of rain. Robert Asomaning who was there at

the beach at that time remember the unpleasant experience of being there.

“ We didn’t get to go in, which sucked but I saw a couple guys soaking there feet after

the workers told them not too”.

Both Mr. Asomaning and his friend Clay Sherman were not happy when they

couldn’t step foot in the water.

As the water was cleared, Mr. Sherman went back for a nice swim and to soak in

the summer sun. A couple days after he started to notice a gruesome rash growing,

“ I was freaking out, I didn’t know what to do”. Sherman later did what anyone

would do, when the rash didn’t go away. “ I rushed to the hospital because I had gash in

my arm and it kept bothering me, they told me it must of been from the water”.

Later Sherman received antibiotics and his arm was treated, the wound healed

four days later but the doctors told him that it was best for him to stay away from the

water till further notice. It’s safe to say there hasn’t been any other incidents concerning

the closure of the beach due to enterococci. The tests of the beach have helped keep

the public safe and harmless since.

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