Watertown lawmakers get update on water quality studies

Watertown city council
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 6:42 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The engineering firm testing Watertown’s drinking water presented early results at a work session Monday night.

GHD is testing for disinfection byproducts caused by mixing chlorine with organic materials in the Black River.

It’s doing four separate studies during different seasons at the city’s water treatment plant.

Back in 2017, a fix of new sediment settling tanks was estimated at $15 million.

That is only one portion of the permanent fix, but council wants a new estimate based on present day sedimentation results.

However, those aren’t scheduled to be done until April.

“Will we have those, or can we get those numbers so we can apply in time for the various grants listed and that project this summer,” Mayor Jeff Smith said. “Because otherwise if we don’t, we are out another year and I don’t think we can kick the can down the road any further.”

The firm’s engineer says it will have updated numbers to the council in the next few weeks.

City manager Ken Mix says third party estimates will also be needed.

The council also got its first look at the preliminary draft of the Thompson Park master plan, a process that started last summer.

It calls for more advancements on the underused west side of the park.

Those could include an outdoor theater and improved hiking trails.

Other ideas: a winter ice skating trail at the exercise loop and a park museum and gallery.

Council members will review the plan and post it for the public to look at.

A final draft could be approved by late spring.