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$26 million expansion will double Amity Township sewer plant capacity

AMITY — The township has embarked on a $25.8 million project that will expand its wastewater treatment plant, improve treatment and nearly double its maximum capacity.

The project was approved by the Delaware River Basin Commission, a multi-state agency that regulates discharges and withdrawals from the entire Delaware River Watershed areas of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The DRBC docket indicated “the plant has been experiencing some inflow and infiltration problems. The upgrades and expansion will allow for better treatment.”

The Amity wastewater treatment plant is located on Old Philadelphia Pike along the Schuylkill River and is surrounded by an earthen berm to protect it from floodwaters. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
The Amity wastewater treatment plant is located on Old Philadelphia Pike along the Schuylkill River and is surrounded by an earthen berm to protect it from floodwaters. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

“Inflow and infiltration” occurs when groundwater and stormwater get into the system and increase the flow of water into the sewer plant, sometimes causing problems with treating the higher volume rushing into the plant at the same time.

According to Amity Township Manager Troy Bingaman, the township supervisors have dedicated federal COVID aid, known as ARPA funding, to the project, as well as some borrowing, a $1.75 million state grant and contributions from Douglass, Earl and Union townships, each of which have areas that are served by the system.

The plant, located on Old Philadelphia Pike, currently holds a permit to treat 2.2 million gallons of sewage a day, which it discharges into the Schuylkill River after treatment — 1.8 miles upstream from the water intake valve for the Pottstown Water Treatment Plant.

In the near future, the expansion project, planned to begin construction this summer, will only expand the annual flow to 2.9 million gallons per day. However. the full build-out will ultimately allow it to treat 4.35 million gallons per day, according to the DRBC.

The original Amity wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1992. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
The original Amity wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1992. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

The upgrade will include more efficient pumps, replacing aging equipment, and some changes in methodology, including using ultraviolet treatment to clean discharged effluent instead of chlorine.

The township expects the project to take 12 to 18 months to complete and no interruption in service.

Rates are expected to rise to help pay for the capital project, but Bingaman indicated the amount of the increase is not yet known. It is “to be analyzed as we learn the actual capital outlay necessary for the project” depending on how costs come in when the bids are opened on April 17.

Currently, Amity residents pay $145 per quarter, per estimated dwelling unit, or “EDU.” Rates were increased by $5 per quarter at the start of the year.

 


Source: Berkshire mont

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