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Catharine Valley Water Reclamation Facility (CVWRF)

What was the Challenge?

Located on the shore of Seneca Lake, the Village of Watkins Glen was under Consent Order to make improvements to its aging wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).  Likewise, the Village of Montour Falls WWTP was in need of comprehensive upgrade.  The Project Team needed to work within strict nutrient requirements and overcome regionalization, funding, and permitting challenges.  The new, joint Water Reclamation Facility site was located in the environmentally-sensitive Catharine Creek Wildlife Management Area, with active bald eagle nesting sites adjacent to the site.  As a building site, the planned CVWRF site presented technical, logistical, and constructability challenges.

How did Barton & Loguidice provide a solution?

Barton & Loguidice developed a strategic approach with a regional view that allowed the Villages to solve their municipal wastewater treatment obligations collaboratively.  This solution required B&L to partner with various stakeholders including both Villages, Schuyler County, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

This joint approach to the project positioned both Villages for $300,000 CFA Planning Grant, $43,900 Local Government Efficiency (LGE) grant, 1,250,000 Empire State Development grant, $5 million WIIA grant, and 0% hardship financing on $25 million of project cost. B&L provided environmental resource permitting including the negotiation and approval of Freshwater Wetlands Permit, Incidental Take of Endangered or Threatened Species, issued by NYSDEC and Non-Purposeful Take Permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Why was the project a success?

As a result of the collaborative regional approach, both municipalities have consolidated their municipal wastewater treatment services to the region, setting the stage for further consolidation of municipal shared services in the region. The WRF operates well below current permit nutrient limits, improving water quality in Seneca Lake. The WRF is sized with adequate capacity for receiving wastewater from other regional sources. Moreover, by removing its wastewater treatment facility from Seneca Lake, the Village of Watkins Glen has freed up lakefront property for development and revitalization, in accordance with its Strategic Investment Plan. The Village of Watkins Glen leveraged additional $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant to develop Watkins Glen downtown and Seneca lakefront.

Project At a Glance


New York


  • Funding First
  • Municipal Services
  • Wastewater & Water Resource Recovery

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