NY celebrates Lake George wastewater improvements


New York State officials announced the completion of a multi-year project to repair and upgrade critical wastewater infrastructure on Lake George.

The state invested nearly $15 million in state-of-the-art improvements to the Village of Lake George’s wastewater treatment plant, which will significantly reduce the amount of pollution that enters the lake. The infrastructure is crucial to protecting the long-term health of the lake and the local economy that depends on it.

“New York State is committed to working with our local communities to safeguard the quality of our lakes throughout the state, making record investments to protect public health and the environment,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Lake George serves as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Northeast and a beloved location for family vacations, sustaining annual traditions that span generations. The critical upgrades made to the village’s wastewater treatment plant will protect the future of this majestic waterbody while promoting economic growth and tourism throughout the region.”

Lake George is one of New York’s most popular tourist destinations. Nicknamed the “Queen of American Lakes”, this 28,160-acre waterbody located in the southeast corner of the Adirondacks that has served as a major tourism destination since the Revolutionary War era. Lake George residents and visitors take advantage of the myriad opportunities for outdoor and aquatic recreation in the region.

At the southern end of the lake, the village of Lake George maintains a wastewater treatment plant first constructed in 1932. It services the village and some surrounding communities and experiences substantial influxes in use during the summer tourism season. Since 2014, the antiquated facility was the subject of a consent order with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requiring the mitigation of nitrate exceedances that harmed the lake’s water quality. In 2016, due to continued exceedances, the order was modified to require the village to upgrade their entire system to improve water quality in the Lake George Basin.

New York State committed a total of $14.9 million, including grants from the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, State and Municipal Facilities program, and Water Quality Improvement Project program. The remaining cost of the project was funded with the help of an interest-free loan from the state Environmental Facilities Corporation. This investment resulted in a total savings to village taxpayers of approximately $27.3 million. In 2019, the village began construction of the plant upgrades and they were completed this month.

“For centuries, people come from across the country and around the world to Lake George’s unrivaled beauty,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York State’s significant investment and ongoing partnership with the village of Lake George to complete these critical wastewater treatment upgrades will protect and preserve the lake’s water quality and reduce nutrient pollution while supporting the state’s aggressive work to combat HABs in our waterbodies.”

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