Water Study Update Project

Project Need

Livingston County applied and was awarded $270,000 through the NYS Department of State Local Government Efficiency Program to update the 1991 Comprehensive Water Supply Study as a collaborative process involving all 26 municipalities, Livingston County Water Sewer Authority (LCWSA), and other public water suppliers. Livingston County is contributing $30,000 to this project.

Managing and protecting water supplies for residents remains a priority for the County and all our municipalities.

• The existing study is outdated.

• Many of the Study recommendations have been implemented, such as the creation of the LCWSA.

• We need to effectively respond to increased water quality requirements, state and federal regulations, and to meet increased quantity demands.

• This is an opportunity to develop a new vision collectively for moving forward.

Potential negative economic development impacts.

Currently, the water and sewer systems that are managed by the LCWSA and the various municipalities provide adequate coverage and capacity for existing levels, but new growth may be hampered by potential lack of future capacities.

Support for municipal system improvements is needed.

• Many municipalities have indicated that they have a need for water and sewer system improvements. This project could identify opportunities for collaboration and shared services and provide support documentation to help leverage future grant applications.

• By identifying and implementing additional upgrades and means for collaboration in administration, equipment/materials, testing and other resources, the LCWSA and involved communities can use the cost savings to upgrade the water and sewer systems and provide additional opportunities for growth and community development, especially in areas where growth is desired.

Steering Committee Members 

Supervisor Deming (Town of York), Mayor Provo (Village of Mount Morris), Michelle Baines (Executive Director LCWSA), Ian Coyle (County Administrator), Angela Ellis (Deputy County Administrator), Mark Grove (Director of Environmental Health), and William Bacon (Executive Director Economic Development).

The Livingston County Planning Department will serve as the County’s Project Manager. Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) and Brennan Group will coordinate all project activities with the Livingston County Planning Department and the Project Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC will convene and meet as necessary to guide this project.

Project Status

Task 1: Technical Review: Review of the 1991 Livingston County Water Supply Study in comparison to the existing conditions of the regional water system including but not limited to, equipment and assets, distribution/transmission/collection systems, operations and maintenance and budget. An assessment of demographics, labor force, residential and non-residential development trends, wellhead protection programs, other environmental regulations impacting water quality and quantity is included. The review consists of all 26 municipalities and LCWSA systems This technical review is the foundation for the recommendations and implementation items outlined in later tasks.  

Task 2: Needs and Alternatives Analysis: Based on the information gathered during Task 1, the needs assessment will be developed in context with demographic trends and development goals as defined locally and at the regional level. Task 2 includes an examination of the potable water resources and an assessment of various alternatives for water and sewer system expansion. Currently, each individual water and wastewater treatment is maintained and operated by local communities with some level of collaboration taking place between and with LCWSA. While there is no anticipation at this time to consolidate staff, there exists and opportunity to expand and enhance the current level of collaboration and sharing of resources, facilities, assets, and/or general operations. Possible opportunities include the bulk purchase of supplies, materials and chemicals, cooperative purchase of power for operations, lab testing services, meter reading, system GIS mapping and leak detection equipment. 

Read the presentation made to local leadership about Task 1&2 (presented on November 13, 2019 at the Water Leadership Summit).  

Task 3: Development of Recommendations: Based on the Needs Assessment and Analysis the consultant will provide a detailed narrative of recommended options for addressing water quality and quantity issues identified during the project planning process. It is anticipated that the consultant will propose general and specific system recommendations, including recommended alternatives for water and sewer system expansion. Recommendations that support specific cost efficiencies and collaboration including, but not limited to, leak detection equipment, GIS mapping software and equipment, billing software, staff training, and other water and sewer and testing equipment. Cost estimates will be provided where feasible to highlight the cost savings associated with the collaboration versus individual purchasing. 

Task 4: Implementation Strategy: Proactively building on the recommendations from the previous tasks, an itemized/ phased implementation plan will be developed that includes a priority ranking and time frame for completion. 

The Project Steering Committee will review and comment on the draft document that incorporates the above tasks into a single document and replaces the 1991 Study. Following the acceptance of the 2019 Livingston County Water Supply Study Update project by the Project Steering Committee, it will then be forwarded to the County Board of Supervisors for acceptance.

Questions, Comments or Input please direct to: Megan Crowe, Senior Planner, mcrowe@co.livingston.ny.us or 585-243-7550