Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority breaks ground on $28 million sewage treatment plant
With excavators clamoring in the background, board members of the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority broke ground on Wednesday for the new $28 million sewage treatment plant at the Allegheny Township site.
Contractor Galway Bay Corp. of Jeannette began work on Jan. 7 and is expected to finish the job in September 2014. Work will continue through the winter.
The new plant will more than double the capacity of the authority, which processes sewage for 11,000 customers in 13 Alle-Kiski communities.
The contractor will pour about 11,000 cubic yards of concrete at a 2.5-acre parcel on the authority's Pine Camp Road site for the new facility.
The site will include four new processing tanks, several buildings and new technology.
“This $28 million plant will carry us into the next 30 years,” said board member Adam Mayer of West Leechburg. “It's not a Band-Aid approach.”
The authority's treatment plant began processing sewage in December 1975.
The new plant is necessary because the current treatment facility releases partially treated and raw sewage into the Kiski River during heavy rains and other severe wet weather in violation of federal and state environmental laws.
The excess sewage and stormwater comes from the communities served by the authority, some of which have leaky and outdated sanitary and combination sanitary and stormwater lines.
“We are finally bringing the Alle-Kiski Valley back into regulatory compliance,” said Robert Polczynski, chairman of the authority's board and the Municipal Authority of Allegheny Township.
A number of communities in the state are under order by the state Department of Environmental Protection and other government agencies to fix or replace their old and faulty sewage systems that release raw sewage into waterways and public drinking water supplies.
Absent from the groundbreaking event were representatives from Vandergrift and Leechburg, which earlier sued the authority for charging their residents a higher rate because the sewage systems from those towns sent greater quantities of wastewater to the authority.
Last June, Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso dismissed the lawsuit brought by Leechburg and Vandergrift.
The authority expects to resolve a countersuit it filed in the next few months, according to Bob Kossak, authority manager.
Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.