Development Authority of the North Country

Water Quality

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Water and sewer infrastructure were the foundation of the Development Authority, with initial projects built to serve the wastewater and drinking water needs of a growing Fort Drum. The Water Quality Division emerged as the Authority evolved to assist an ever-growing number of communities struggling to meet their water and wastewater needs. The Authority’s technical expertise and ability to implement solutions that cross municipal boundaries has made it a valuable partner in helping communities across the region develop cost-effective methods of meeting their water and wastewater needs as well as providing the capacity for growth.

The Water Quality Division operates and maintains approximately 45 miles of water and sewer pipelines and associated pumping stations. These facilities serve Fort Drum and western Jefferson County, and are linked to the City of Watertown water and sewer treatment facilities and the Village of Cape Vincent water treatment facility. The Development Authority's licensed professional staff, supported by sophisticated computer monitoring and control equipment, manages its water and wastewater facilities. The staff also provides contract operation and maintenance services to various towns and villages in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, helping those communities to meet the needs of their residents as well as regulatory requirements, in a cost-effective manner.

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  Development Authority Water Quality employees
 participate in many educational events to help youth
 understand the importance of maintaining good water
 quality to ensure safe drinking water for their communities. 

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   Licensed, professional Authority employees operate
 Authority-owned water and wastewater facilities,
 and municipal facilities under contract in some
 North Country communities. 

        The Development Authority developed, owns and operates these facilities:        

  Watertown to Fort Drum Sewer Line  

One of the Authority’s first projects was to construct a  wastewater line between Fort Drum and the City of Watertown  . The pipeline was successfully completed in 1987. Wastewater is pumped from Fort Drum to the City of Watertown sewage treatment plant for treatment. The Authority owns a pumping station, known as  Warneck Pumping Station, 23557 NYS Route 37  in the Town of Pamelia that helps safely pump the wastewater approximately three miles for proper treatment.

By 1998, it was clear that the sewer infrastructure in the communities nearest Fort Drum needed to be updated, as sewage was being discharged to the Black River. Water and sewer districts are formed around the people that use those services and those people pay a user’s fee. Typically these districts are located within a single municipality. In this case, because of its regional reach, the Development Authority was able to bring five communities together in an unprecedented alliance that meets their wastewater needs and provides the capacity for growth and economic development. The 12-mile, $15.5 million system now serves Fort Drum and four town sewer districts in Champion, LeRay and Pamelia. Oversight of this line’s operation is provided by the Route 3 Sewer Board, which is comprised of representatives of the municipalities that benefit from and fund the line.

  Watertown to Fort Drum Water Line  

The Authority’s second big project was to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water to Fort Drum. In 1991 the 11-mile, $8.5 million  Watertown-to-Fort Drum Water Line  was completed. In addition to the pipeline, the system includes two pumping stations with the capacity to deliver up to three million gallons of water per day from the City of Watertown’s water treatment plant to Fort Drum. Taking advantage of the infrastructure passing by their doorstep, the towns of Champion, LeRay and Pamelia formed eight town water districts that serve residents and provide the capacity for the townships to grow.

  Western Jefferson County Regional Water Line  

In 1995 the Authority developed a 22-mile, $5 million  pipeline project  to provide drinking water to six town water districts and four villages between Cape Vincent and the Village of Glen Park. Water is purchased from the Village of Cape Vincent and sold to the towns of Cape Vincent, Lyme and Brownville, and the Village of Chaumont. Water is also available to the villages of Dexter and Brownville on an as-needed basis. The regional pipeline serves these municipal residents in a cost effective manner and provides the means for the municipalities to pursue growth opportunities.

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   The Authority has specialized equipment
 for detecting leaks. 

   The Development Authority maintains and
 repairs its approximately 45 miles of pipeline,
 as well as providing contractual maintenance
 services to a number of municipalities. 

Annual Water Quality Reports  
Army Water Line - 2018 
Western Regional Water Line - 2018
Army Water Line - 2019
Western Regional Water Line - 2019
Army Water Line - 2020
Western Regional Water Line - 2020


The Development Authority uses its technical expertise and licensed professional staff to work with municipal partners when requested to develop shared service solutions that provide cost-effective services throughout the region. The Water Quality Division supports numerous town, district and village water and wastewater systems with the following services:

  • Full-service operation and maintenance contracts
  • Selective operation and maintenance assistance
  • Operator-of-record services
  • Facility start-up
  • Operator training
  • Special project support

For information on Water Quality Services contact Brian Nutting, Water Quality Division Director: