Important information about your water supply

May 2011 —The Onondaga County Water Authority is pleased to provide its customers and consumers with the Authority’s Annual Water Supply Statement and Consumer Confidence Report. Throughout this report readers will be able to find useful information specifically related to OCWA as well as information related to water in general. In addition to mailing the report to all customers of record, the Authority continues its practice of providing copies of the report to local libraries and posting the text on the Internet at

Over the past year several major projects were completed and placed in service, and the stage was set for the next round of capital projects that will begin in 2011 and run through the end of 2012. The Otisco Lake Water Treatment Plant Improvement Project was completed and placed into service by June, 2010. In addition to addressing regulations, the project improves water quality and the overall safety and reliability of the treatment process by maximizing production and providing a consistent capacity during the treatment process.

The Western 20 million gallon (MG) enclosed tank built in Van Buren to replace an uncovered treated water reservoir was placed in service in September of 2010. The Eastern 30 MG covered tank in Manlius was placed into service on January 3, 2011. With the 30 MG tank completed, work on the Eastern 20 million gallon tank was started in March of 2011. The 20 MG tank is being built within the footprint of the old open reservoir, which is now out of service. Work on this tank should be completed by the middle of 2012.

Other major projects starting in 2011 include work on two large pumping stations that supply water to the south of Syracuse. Both stations are being upgraded with more energy efficient pumps, motors and controls. Emergency generating power for these stations is being enhanced as well. Also a new pump station is being built to improve service to the West Hill Water District and to address regulatory requirements related to water treatment.

One major change OCWA customers will see in 2011 involves changes to water rate schedules. Upon completion of a Water Rate Study conducted by a nationally renowned consultant, OCWA is changing its rate structure from one with a minimum bill tied to consumption and six rate steps for residential customers, to a new rate structure that rewards conservation. The new rate structure replaces the old minimum with a lower base service charge and just three rate blocks. A letter explaining the changes is being included in OCWA’s billing over the course of the second quarter of 2011 as the new rates, which became effective March 1, 2011, are phased in for quarterly customers. The new rate schedules have been posted on OCWA’s web site at, where a rate calculator has been added to assist residential customers with estimating their quarterly water bill.

To learn more about the OCWA water system and water supply, you are urged to read the information included in this report and to visit the Authority web site.

Robert F. Tomeny Michael E. Hooker Anthony J. Geiss, Jr, PE
Chairman, OCWA Board Executive Director Deputy Executive Director