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 $39 million to design and construct. The Town Board has successfully pursued and secured grants for the project which reduces the overall user costs. The remaining portions of the project will be funded with 0% interest and low-interest rate loans, further reducing users costs. In total, funding for the project will consist of:

  • Grants
  • $5 million NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) Grant
  • $4.6 million NYSDEC Water Quality Improvement (WQIP) Grant
  • $3 million USDA Rural Development Grant
  • Loans
    • $20 million NYSEFC Hardship Interest Free Loan (0% interest)
    • $6.4 million USDA Rural Development Poverty Rate Loan (1.125% interest)

The combination of grants, interest free loan, and low-interest loans, result in an estimated annual user cost of $850 for a single-family home!


The following is the current project schedule:

Year Project Step
2022 Home Inspections for Grinder Pumps
Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in design
2023 Construction begins on WWTP
Design begins on Sewer System including sewer mains and grinder pumps
2024 Construction ends on WWTP
Construction Begins on Sewer System
2025 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: