Waste Water Project Summary

Project Background

Many residents within the Town of Constantia have failing or inadequate onsite septic systems which pose a serious health risk to the public. Additionally, septic systems within the Town have been identified as a serious threat to lake water quality and are a known pollutant source for Oneida Lake, threatening aquatic life, recreation and economic activity.

The Town of Constantia has pursued a sewer district along the North Shore of Oneida Lake to mitigate the negative impacts of the failing or inadequate on-site septic systems and protect public health. The Town of Constantia conducted numerous interest surveys to solicit resident feedback and identify high priority areas of need. Community feedback was used to develop the sewer service area.

Through these past efforts and coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), it was determined that the most feasible solution to treat the flows from the new sewer district is the Village of Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The Village of Cleveland and Town of Constantia are firmly committed to work together in implementing all necessary improvements to the WWTP to provide sanitary sewer to the Town sewer district.

Constantia-Bernhards Bay Sewer District

The new sewer district will consist of more than 24 miles of low-pressure main with sewer main cleanouts and air-valve manholes. The sewer collection system includes the installation of individual grinder pump stations, laterals, electrical panels, and the decommissioning of existing onsite septic systems to all occupied parcels within the District.

The project will also include improvements to the Village of Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant which will increase its capacity and allow it to accept and treat the additional flows from the Town of Constantia. These improvements will modernize, automate, and improve the energy efficiency of the aging infrastructure at the WWTP.

A map of the new sewer district can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Project Map )

A map of the current inspection status can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Inspection Status Map )

In April 2022, a letter was sent to all property owners within the new sewer district regarding the project and next steps. This letter can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Introductory Project Letter )

Grinder Pumps

Grinder pumps are used in connection with low pressure sewers to convey ground-up wastewater. These are typically used in areas where elevations do not allow for use of gravity sewer mains. All connections to the Town Sewer will require a grinder pump.

An example of a typical grinder pump installation can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Typical Grinder Pump Design )

Home Inspections

Residents will be notified of the upcoming home inspection via an informational packet which will be mailed to each property owner. The mailer will include a link to schedule the home inspection at your convince. Please note, the home inspections will be completed from East to West across the district in groups of about 100 properties. If you have not received a mailer yet, you are scheduled in a later group and will receive your mailer at a later date.

An example of the mailer that will be sent to each resident can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Residential Mailer Packet )

Project Funding and User Cost

The total project will cost an estimated $62.95 million to design and construct. The Town Board has successfully pursued and secured grants for the project over the past 3 years to reduce the overall user costs. Due to nationwide inflation the project currently faces a grant shortfall of approximately $19 million necessary to meet the approved first year user charge of $976. The Town has applied for $20 million in State and Federal grants throughout 2023 to close this funding gap.

In total, funding secured for the project to date includes:


  • $5 million NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) Grant
  • $4.6 million NYSDEC Water Quality Improvement (WQIP) Grant
  • $3 million USDA Rural Development Grant
  • $1.75 million Federal Community Program Funding (CPF) Grant


  • $20 million NYSEFC Hardship Interest Free Loan (0% interest)
  • $11 million USDA Rural Development Poverty Rate Loan (1.125% interest)

The Town continues to aggressively pursue grants to offset project increases and keep user charges down. Several announcements of funding applications submitted are expected by the end of 2023.


The following is the current project schedule as of August 2023:

Year Project Step
2023 Funding Announcements Expected by December 2023
Winter 2023 Seek approval of revised project costs from residents
***Project will only continue beyond this with sufficient project funding and resident approval***
Spring 2024 Resume Final project design and Home Inspections for Grinder Pumps
2025 Construction begins on WWTP and Collection System
Fall 2026 Construction ends on WWTP
2027 Construction Ends on Sewer System and Grinder Pumps
Project Completion

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions can be viewed here: ( Click to view/download Project FAQs )

More project information can be found here: