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MANAGEMENT AND FACILITY CHANGES FOR AN EVOLVING CUSTOMER BASE

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The City of Niagara Falls, New York wastewater treatment plant is a physical-chemical facility designed in the 1970's to treat a blend of industrial, commercial, and residential wastewaters. During the 1980's and 1990's a combination of new federal pretreatment regulations, poor economic conditions, and a loss of resident population all contributed to a significant decline in plant flow and pollutant loadings. The reductions have seriously degraded the economy of scale originally planned upon, leading to higher unit costs for all customers which further encourage waste discharge minimization.

Facility staff have attempted to arrest this downward spiral by downsizing, implementing new chemical and energy management strategies, pursuing key equipment replacement projects, planning an overhaul of the sewer user charge system, and developing a hauled waste trade to help reestablish higher plant loadings and an improved economy of scale. Contacts through local waste brokers have proved most productive in securing new nonresident customers. Procedures governing waste applications, regulatory approvals, trial receipts, permit issuance, sampling and compliance developed as the quantities of waste received grew. Physical changes to the facility also became necessary to accommodate liquid waste and sludge deliveries. Wastestreams now received at the plant include industrial process waste, brine solutions, landfill leachate, groundwater contaminated with petroleum products or organic chemicals, and sludges from both industrial and municipal facilities. Department revenue from nonresident waste has grown from 3,500 in 1996 to 163,581 in 1999; projected revenue for FY 2000 is in excess of 200,000.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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