CMA still trying to pinpoint source of storm water|
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
The Clearfield Municipal Authority continues to work on pinpointing the source of storm water infiltrating the sanitary sewer system.
At yesterday's meeting, CMA engineer James Potopa, project engineer with Gwin, Dobson & Foreman Inc. of Altoona, said they met with the engineers and officials from Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township on June 11 to discuss the preparation of the maps of their sewer systems as requested by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Clearfield Borough, Lawrence Township and the CMA's sanitary sewer lines are interconnected with the CMA owning and maintaining the main interceptor lines; lift stations and the wastewater treatment plant, with the borough and the township owning the smaller sewer lines within their municipalities.
However, storm water lines are also connected to the sewer system, which causes rainwater to overload the sewer system during rain events, forcing the CMA to discharge raw sewage into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to keep it from backing up into people's homes and businesses.
All three are under a mandate from the DEP and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to remove the storm water from the sanitary system to keep this from happening.
Clearfield Borough replaced all of its sewer lines several years ago at a cost of approximately $27 million and Lawrence Township undertook several smaller projects totaling $6.3 million.
However, large amounts of storm water are still entering the system forcing the CMA to continue to discharge sewage into the river during rain events.
CMA manager Jeff Williams said he doesn't believe the CMA's lines are a significant source of the problem. He said they found a few problem areas but nothing to account for the large volumes of water the system is receiving.
He said the CMA has almost finished televising all of its sanitary sewer lines with only a portion of Wolf Run left and said it should be completed shortly.
Potopa said the DEP is requesting the maps to allow it to determine where the problem areas are in the system.
Potopa said the CMA continues to conduct flow monitoring on the system to better gauge where the additional water is coming from.
If the storm water is not removed from the system, the DEP could require the CMA's interceptor lines be upgraded to give them the capacity to carry the excess water to the CMA's sewer plant for treatment instead of it being discharged directly into the river.
However, such a project would be expensive and CMA's engineers estimate this would cost between $20 million to $30 million, according to a previous article in The Progress.
The CMA is also in the planning phase of constructing a new wastewater treatment plant at a cost of approximately $25 million. The new plant would be located in the same location as its current plant and will integrate some of its systems into the new plant.
However, because the new plant would be constructed on land that hasn't had any recorded construction on it, the CMA was required to hire an archeologist to conduct a phase I archeological study on the land to determine if there are any significant historical artifacts on the site.
The study was completed but Williams said the archeologist found some "shavings" that could have some historical significance so the CMA is now required to conduct a phase II archeological study to further examine the property.
Williams estimated it will cost approximately $10,000 for the Phase II study.
The CMA plans to apply for funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for the new wastewater treatment plant on Aug. 22, Potopa said.