Town of Colonie - Latham Water

John Frazer
Superintendent

Public Operations Center
347 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110-2290

Introduction to Latham Water Water Quality
Water System Flushing Latham Water's Standard Specifications
Raw Water Source Pending Projects and New Developments
Water Conservation Hints Water Permit Application
Water Usage and Charges Frequently Asked Questions
  How to Contact Us

 

Introduction to Department of Public Works, Division of Latham Water
aerial view of MVWTPThe Town of Colonie Department of Public Works, Division of Latham Water, provides safe drinking water and water for fire protection to 81,000 Town of Colonie residents, except the Village of Menands and Maplewood areas. We are responsible for the treatment and distribution of water, installing and maintaining fire hydrants for fire protection, and maintaining water mains and valves.

The Division of Latham Water is comprised of approximately 55 employees, with the main office and garage located at the Public Operations Center, 347 Old Niskayuna Road; water treatment plant and laboratory on the Mohawk River and Stony Creek Reservoir in Clifton Park.


General Description
The Latham Water District was created in 1929 to serve the residents of Latham, New York. A few drilled wells were pumped directly into a distribution system constructed of unlined cast iron pipes. Over the years, the Latham Water District has grown into a complex water supply utility serving over 81,000 residential customers as well as numerous commercial and industrial users. Three different raw water sources are pumped to the Mohawk View Water Treatment Plant where chemical and physical treatment takes place. The quality of our sources before treatment is good, and the treatment plant finishes the job by removing any solids, metals (primarily iron and manganese), color-producing compounds or other organic and inorganic compounds. At the treatment plant, we continuously monitor the clarity and disinfectant level to guarantee the bacteriological safety of the water. Chemical treatment consists of oxidation, coagulation, chlorination and pH adjustment. Physical treatment consists of flocculation, settling and filtration. Finished water is pumped to the distribution system and is stored in nine (9) steel storage vessels located throughout the Town.

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Raw Water Sources
Latham's raw water sources are the Mohawk River, Stony Creek Reservoir, and five (5) wells located on Onderdonk Avenue. Choosing which raw water source or which combinations of sources are used is based on a number of factors - time of the year, raw water quality and the estimated demand.

From October through April flows average 8.4 million gallons per day (MGD). During the spring and fall, a combination of sources as the demand and availability of the source dictates. The "summer" operation consists of an almost exclusive use of the river, with some of the other sources blended. Flows at this time are as high as 22.3 MGD.


Water Conservation Hints
Latham Water District customers are urged to conserve water whenever possible, but especially during our high demand periods. The best way to help us conserve water is to minimize any outside water use from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Our customers with automatic lawn sprinklers can help us by adjusting their timers to this schedule and by installing moisture sensors. Some other suggestions for conserving water are:

  • CHECKING and REPAIRING all leaks! - Toilets, faucets and garden hose spigots.
  • Installing water-saving plumbing fixtures such as low-flow shower heads and water saving toilets.
  • Covering pools to reduce evaporation.
  • Using a broom, instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Washing only full loads of laundry and dishes.
  • Turning off the water when shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Water lawns and landscaping during the morning or evening to avoid excess evaporation. Use mulch around shrubs to save moisture. Use drought-tolerant and native plants.
  • Automatic landscape irrigation systems are a home's biggest water user. To make sure you're not over watering, adjust your irrigation controller at least once a month to account for changes in the weather and install a rain shutoff device, soil moisture sensor, or humidity sensor to better control irrigation.

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Water Usage and Charges

The Latham Water District rate is $2.70/1000 gallons.



Water Quality

The quality of water provided to our customers is high. With the exception of water main construction or repair, few customer complaints are received. Even so, New York State law now requires all water suppliers to notify their customers about the risks of cryptosporidosis and giardiasis.

Cryptosporidosis and giardiasis are intestinal illnesses caused by microscopic parasites. Cryptosporidosis can be very serious for chemotherapy, dialysis or transplant patients, or people with Crohn's disease, HIV infection, or otherwise weakened immune systems. People with weakened immune systems should discuss with their health care provider the need to take extra precautions such as boiling water, using a certified bottled water or a specially approved home filter. Individuals who think they may have cryptosporidosis or giardiasis should contact their health care provider immediately. For additional information on cryptosporidosis and giardiasis, please contact the Albany County Health Department at (518) 447-4620.

To view Latham Water Department's 2012 Annual Water Quality Report, click here.

For access to websites mentioned in the report, click on the links below:

www.awwa.org

www.drinktap.org/consumerdnn

Note: The 2012 Annual Water Quality Report is in Adobe Acrobat format. You can click the logo to the right to download the program -- there is no charge for it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why does the water smell like Chlorine?
Latham Water adds chlorine to the finished water as a disinfectant, as required by NYS Department of Health. Concentration of chlorine vary throughout the Town, depending on location, water temperature and seasonal variations.

2) Why do I have low water pressure?
There are several reasons for low pressure including water main breaks or internal home plumbing problems. If you do experience low pressure call Latham Water (518) 783-2750 and we will help to determine the cause.

3) Why do I have discolored water?
Discoloration of water can result from many reasons: Red or rust color could result from a water main break or from an open fire hydrant in your neighborhood. Milky water could be the result of additional air within the water system, from a water main break or other system shut down. Internal plumbing and fixtures can also discolor the water.

4) I have a leak in my house or service line - Can Latham Water help?
Yes - Call (518) 783-2750 - If we are unable to satisfy your inquiry over the telephone, personnel will be sent to investigate your problem.

5) Is the water fluoridated?
We do not add fluoride to our water, however, there is a trace of fluoride in the District's source water.

6) When are the water bills mailed out? Average water usage per family?
Bills are mailed out semi-annually:

North section  February and August
Central section  March and September 
South section  April and October 

Our average residential customer uses approximately 75,000 gallons of water with charges of $202.50.

7) Why did I receive a “minimum charge” water bill?
You used less than 20,000 gallons during the billing period. The minimum usage charge is based on a minimum usage of 20,000 gallons per period regardless of how much water you used below 20,000 gallons. Minimum charges are common throughout the water industry and are designed to cover the costs that a water supplier must pay even if you didn't use any water such as billing, meter reading, system maintenance and generally making drinking water available to you.

8) How does Latham Water transfer ownership of property from one owner to another?
A final meter reading is taken or through property transfer-deed from the Assessor's office. A final meter reading should be requested by telephone by the seller or purchaser's attorney.

9) When are meter cards mailed and how long do I have to return the cards?

Cards are mailed semi-annually:

North Section

Blue Card

December and June

Central Section

Red Card

January and July

South Section

Green Card

February and August

It is indicated on the front of the card to return the card in ten days so your next bill is as accurate as possible.

10) How are bills calculated if you do not receive my meter card?

If Latham Water does not receive your meter reading card back, your water usage is estimated for the upcoming bill. We will also accept readings over the phone by calling (518)783-2750. Meterman appointments are available for those who are unable to read their meter.

11) Who should I call if my meter is leaking?

Meters belong to the property owner. However, we can assist you with the repair or replacement of a leaking meter. Call (518)783-2750 to schedule an appointment with one of our metermen.

12) Who is responsible for the water meter and the shut-off valves by the meter?

The water service, from the curb stop (the shut-off valve located at the edge of the road right-of-way) into your house is the responsibility of the homeowner. If you are unable to determine where the problem is, Latham Water can send staff to assist you.

13) Should I shovel out the fire hydrant near my house?

With more than 4,300 fire hydrants in our water system, we ask for your help by clearing snow from around the fire hydrant near your home.

14) I received a letter advertisement from a company called HomeServeUSA about insuring my water lines/pipes, what do I do?

Neither the Latham Water District nor the Town of Colonie is affiliated with HomeServe USA. Latham Water is not promoting, nor is it discouraging participation in a program such as HomeServe USA's. It is entirely your decision - similar to choosing to select a buyer-protection plan for your home computer purchase. If, however, you are considering participation in the HomeServe USA program, the Latham Water District can provide you with information about your water service's age and material of construction, soils materials in your area, any break history, etc. It is important for you to know that as a resident of the Latham Water District, you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of your water service. Your responsibility begins at the curb stop and continues from the curb stop into your home. The curb stop is the "shut off" and is usually located in your front yard near the street

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How to Contact Latham Water

Mailing Address:
Public Operations Center
347 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110-2290

Phone Number: (518) 783-2750

Fax Number: (518) 786-7320

E-Mail: LWD@colonie.org

 

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URL: http://www.colonie.org/lathamwater/