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The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) was joined on July 22, 2008 by Senator George Winner (53rd District), Assemblyman Tom O’Mara (137th District), Elmira Water Board General Manager Mark LaDouce and Ray Yacuzzo, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to mark an important milestone toward the full deployment of the Susquehanna Basin Early Warning System (EWS) in 2009 for the Elmira and Binghamton public water supply systems. The EWS will help the two public water supply systems protect drinking water supplies for their 300,000 plus customers.
SRBC is in its third and final year of setting up the EWS in New York. The system, which includes state-of-the-art monitoring and upstream remote sensor equipment, will give system operators access to real-time water quality data and allow them to predict how long it will take chemicals and other substances in the water to reach their intake pipes. Harmful substances from fuel spills and other toxic releases entering water supply treatment plants have the potential to shut down operations for extended periods.
“Having water quality data and time-of-travel information for pollutants will allow system operators to anticipate and make needed adjustments before their water supplies are affected,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz. “This enhanced response time will help protect public health and safety and improve operational efficiency by reducing the number and duration of potential system shutdowns.”
When the EWS is fully operational
next year, the Elmira and Binghamton water supply treatment plants
will be able to monitor water quality factors, including pH, temperature,
turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels, conductivity, and organic contaminants.
The EWS components and benefits include:
Swartz said, “Elmira
and Binghamton are joining the network of four other water suppliers
in Pennsylvania currently participating in SRBC’s EWS
program. Our longer-term outlook includes the expansion of the
EWS into the Maryland portion of the basin, making this truly
a basin-wide warning and notification system.”
#1 Paul O. Swartz (SRBC), Ray Yacuzzo (NYSDEC), Assemblyman Thomas F. O'Mara
#2 Senator George Winner, Assemblyman Thomas F. O'Mara, Ray Yacuzzo (NYSDEC)
#3 Ray Yacuzzo (NYSDEC), Andrew Gavin (SRBC), Heather Hardeman (SRBC)