County looks to build pipeline from landfill to treatment plant

The Cortland Wastewater Treatment Plant. (Photo Source: Mike Thomas)

Cortland County is looking to build an underground pipeline that would transport leachate from the county landfill to the Cortland Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The project could cost an estimated $3.4 million, according to Cortland County Highway Superintendent Charles Sudbrink. 

“It would transfer approximately 11 million gallons of leachate through the pipeline to the village of McGraw to be sent to the Cortland Wastewater Treatment facility,” Sudbrink said. Leachate is defined as any contaminated liquid that is generated from water percolating through a solid waste disposal site, accumulating contaminants, and moving into surface areas.

“It is 2.6 miles-long and that includes the pump station and also a metering station,” Sudbrink added. 

The county legislature will eventually have to approve the project, with preliminary engineering work still left to be done. Sudbrink also said the county is applying for a series of grants that would significantly lower the cost of the project.

“I don’t think everything will be grant funded, but I hope a large portion of the project will be grant funded,” he said. “There is no guarantee this pipeline is going to be put in.”

At the Cortlandville town board meeting on July 20, members unanimously consented to have the pipeline go through the town.

“Right now they truck the leachate to the plant and that is expensive. It’s a burden,” Town Supervisor Tom Williams said. “This resolution will authorize the county to build a pipeline under our land at no expense to us.”

Aside from the expenses, Sudbrink said safety is also a concern.

“The main reason is the safety of hauling leachate with tanker trucks. We haul 1,375 loads a year,” Sudbrink said. “There are also environmental benefits if we stop doing all that trucking. (There’s) also the wear and tear on the roads.”