VESTAL, NY – The cost of a massive spill inside the Joint Sewage Treatment Plant continues to go up.

The Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Board held another emergency meeting yesterday to transfer another million dollars into a fund dedicated to the cleanup and repair.

On the morning of February 18th, a window built into a purification chamber blew out causing as much as 3 million gallons of liquid sewage to pour out inside the Biological Aerated Filtration building.

The window that failed was installed as part of a 274 million dollar rehabilitation project that was largely finished last year.

Last month, the board set aside 2 million dollars to cover the response, including new electrical systems being ordered by Matco and cleanup by ServPro.

Board Chairman George Kolba, Junior says as much as 7 feet of sewage water filled the building.

Kolba says it’s still difficult to predict what the total cost will be.

Kolba says, “At the beginning before anybody went there, and they said it would probably go over 4 million dollars. But nobody has been down there, nobody knows of all of the equipment whether it got water logged and is beyond being salvageable. So, that’s what they’re doing today and yesterday.”

Kolba says ServPro was finished by the beginning of last week.

He says due to the time it may take to source some of the necessary equipment, the current best estimate is that it will take 6 months to repair.

Kolba says that in the meantime, the effluent being discharged into the Susquehanna River is only lacking a final purification process.

He says the D-E-C is satisfied with the steps the board is taking, and had urged the owners to set aside funds proactively so that they address needs quickly.

3 other windows in the system will be covered and reinforced with metal plates.

And the board says Travelers insurance has already advanced the plant 1 million dollars toward the cost of the repair and cleanup.