The Town of Essex won an award at the recent Adirondack Park Local Government conference in Lake Placid, NY. What did they win an award for?
The Excellence in Design competition recognized the hamlet’s new sewage treatment plant for its contribution to community livability and appeal, its good fit with the neighborhood and for the lessons and techniques it offers to other communities. Accepting the award on behalf of the town was Supervisor Sharon Boisen. (Denpubs)
About the Town of Essex Wastewater Treatment Plant
You’re driving east along NYS Route 22 about to enter the Hamlet of Essex New York; just after you pass the “Welcome to Essex” sign you look to your right and the reflection of the midday sun from a copper colored cupola on top of a local barn catches your eye. Whether you are a local and travel the route every day or a visitor to the Town of Essex for the first time, the site of the barn and the farmhouse beside it nestled behind a couple of small residential homes, simply fits with what you were expecting to see in this small historic Adirondack community.
What you and other visitors to the Town do not realize is, inside this attractive barn and farmhouse, are all the equipment and technology necessary to treat the wastewater created by the Hamlet of Essex. (Town of Essex)
That’s right. Those buildings that completely blend in with our community’s atmosphere is where the town’s wastewater is treated! We don’t have to deal with an obtrusive industrial complex that would take away from the area’s natural beauty. It took many years to get this new treatment plant built and running, but it was more than worth it.
The area’s soil was not conducive to natural sewage treatment, and in the past wastewater has been detrimental to the local environment, including creating a habit suited to the growth of the hazardous blue-green algae in Lake Champlain. The Town of Essex knew it needed to improve and update sewage treatment processes, and the result is the new Town of Essex Wastewater Treatment Plant described above.
The plant operates on solar power for both electricity and hot water, which leads to a much reduced cost. All of the treatment processes are done at this plant, and there is one tank that is used to complete all of the processes, which allows the town to create a much smaller global footprint than other plants where wastewater is transported from tank to tank or to different places of operation before it is completely treated (Denpubs).
In the submission letter that entered the Town of Essex in this contest, the combination of efficiency and aesthetically pleasing appearance is summed up here:
Rather than being a typical wastewater plant and industrial looking, its appearance fits into our historic Community. It positively [affects] our living environment by providing us a cleaner Lake Champlain with its energy efficiency and use of current technology. It exemplifies what those of us who live within the Adirondack Park strive for, a sense of history in our neighborhoods, while containing all the technology to be as current and as efficient as possible. (Town of Essex)
- Heritage Properties of the Adirondacks (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex High School (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Made in Essex: Mary Wade Miniatures (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Merchant Row Mansions in Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)