What would we do without water?  How could we function without water?

OCWA—Central New York’s Water Authority—recently took part in the national event, “Imagine a Day Without Water,” to discuss these important issues.  Specifically, we held a press conference with one of our largest and most important industrial customers, Anheuser-Busch, to talk about the importance of water in our everyday lives.

We also took the opportunity to provide updates on several steps OCWA has taken or will be taking in the near future to ensure that our water remains safe, reliable and affordable, and that we never have to Imagine a Day Without Water here in Central New York, namely:

Customer Water Service Line Survey

  • After the disturbing events in Flint Michigan, OCWA decided to commence a proactive initiative to identify the type of material used to construct customer water service lines throughout our system
  • Part of that coordinated effort involved developing a comprehensive brochure asking OCWA customers to conduct a brief test of their water service lines to determine their construction
  • Over 8,200 OCWA customers returned completed surveys, with NO detected exceedances (>= 15 ppb) for lead
  • Anyone who has not completed a survey can obtain a copy of the brochure on the OCWA web site home page at ocwa.org


New Water Alerts Information

  • Another important initiative OCWA began recently to keep our customers informed about the status of our five-county water system was to add a “Water Alerts” function to the home page of our web site
  • Every time there is a water interruption due to maintenance work or a broken pipe, the specific location and expected resolution time will appear on our web site
  • We encourage customers to refer to our web site in the event they experience a disruption in service


Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant Upgrades

OCWA has begun the process of implementing improvements to our Lake Ontario water treatment plant

  • This facility is located about a mile off the shore of Lake Ontario. When it was built 50 years ago, it was a state-of-the-art facility delivering critically important water from the Great Lakes right here to Central New York.  The plant has served our community well.
  • But upgrades to the plant will ensure its continued viability for many decades to come
  • Over the next few years, we intend to make upgrades to the following systems of the plant: 1) mechanical systems such as valves, pumps and plumbing, 2) the filter underdrain system, 3) installation of generators for backup power, 4) replacement of two steel storage tanks, 5) electrical substation improvements, 6) chemical tank and pumping improvements, 7) HVAC and electrical system upgrades, and 8) building structural and architectural improvements.
  • In 2018, we will finalize our evaluation of the needed improvements and in 2019 we will finalize the design for the improvements
  • Once completed, the entire project is expected to cost between $40 and $50 million