Where Does Water Down the Drain Go?

To keep our campus wastewater from spoiling our water resources, pollutants must be removed before it is discharged back into the environment.

At SUNY Brockport, wastewater travels through a network of more than 17 miles of collection lines between the main campus and one of four treatment plants operated by the Monroe County Department of Pure Waters. The wastewater starts at any number of points on campus where it travels through interior building pipes and then into the underground collection lines.

On campus this system is cared for by a team of highly skilled staff from the Office of Facilities Maintenance & Operations. This team of dedicated people performs routine repairs, preventative maintenance, and emergency repairs 24/7/365. The college has over 1,219 sanitary fixtures, 1,079 sinks, 748 showers, and hundreds of other miscellaneous drains such as kitchen and lab sinks.

From the campus, it then flows via gravity under the canal to a collection station on the north side of the village. This part of the system is maintained by the Village of Brockport Public Works. At the collection station, the wastewater is pumped under pressure about 16.3 miles to the treatment facility on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Our campus wastewater is processed at the Northwest Quadrant Treatment Facility. The Northwest Quadrant system began operating in 1973. The new system intercepted sewage flowing to nine existing sewage treatment plants eliminating their effluent discharges to the creeks and streams of the northwest part of Monroe County as well as to the nearshore area of Lake Ontario.

The Northwest Quadrant Treatment Facility handles about 14 million gallons of wastewater daily. To protect the bathing and prime recreational areas of the lake, the discharge for the Northwest Quadrant Wastewater Treatment Facility was tunneled under the lakeshore to a point about a mile from shore where the effluent would mix well with Lake Ontario.

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Kevin Rice: krice@brockport.edu

Posted: October 28, 2021