What is the problem?

During very heavy rainfalls
or rapid snowmelts, runoff water enters the sanitary sewer system through cracks, damaged lateral pipes, and improper system connections. This influx of clean water becomes contaminated as it mixes with the raw contents of the sewer, significantly increasing the volume of water that needs to be treated.

During these times, the system is pushed beyond capacity, causing the excess to overflow into the Mohawk River. The Oneida County Sewer District (OCSD) Sanitary Sewer Overflow Mitigation Project is a multi-year initiative that is designed to reduce these sanitary sewer overflows.

By contaminating the Mohawk River, we are damaging the natural ecosystem and limiting our future generations’ ability to enjoy the resource that helped develop the Mohawk Valley. In addition to causing harm to this local asset, if these overflows are not reduced, Oneida County faces harsh fines that would place a severe burden on local residents and regional economic development.

Who is involved?

We have been fortunate to have had input from each of the District’s municipalities, as well as the expert guidance of engineering and planning professionals. Together, we have developed a plan that is designed to meet the needs of each municipality, as well as the District as a whole.

What is being done?

This is no small undertaking and not a problem unique to our area. Municipalities across the nation are facing similar challenges with their sewer systems. How do we repair and rehabilitate our aging infrastructure, while limiting the burden on ratepayers?

A number of projects have already begun or will commence in the near future. Some of this work will be visible in your neighborhoods, such as sewer lining and manhole repairs. Other projects will go unseen, but will make a significant difference, such as the installation of devices that allow the sewer flows to be measured at various points (flow monitoring).