Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority inks deal with driller
One sewage company's waste water is a drilling company's treasure.
A contract between the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority and a Texas-based drilling company could net the authority as much as $3,500 a day.
The authority has agreed to sell up to 1 million gallons of treated wastewater per day to Select Energy. The company will pay $3.50 per 1,000 gallons.
“It looks like a lot of upside with no downside,” authority board chairman Mark Adamchik said. “It might be a long time until that cash comes in, but we could even discuss fee reductions (for FTMSA customers).”
It's fairly common for an agency to sell treated waste water, said Travis Windle, spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a Pittsburgh-based industry group.
“Shale producers purchasing excess water from municipalities has been a financial shot in the arm for a number of local governments who are all working hard to do more with less,” Windle said.
According to a September study conducted by Penn State and West Virginia University, publicly owned water suppliers in Southwestern Pennsylvania have earned between $52,000 and $1.4 million annually by selling water to drillers for fracking.
Obtaining the water – a single Marcellus shale well requires between 2.5 million and 8 million gallons of water – makes up 10 to 20 percent of development costs, the study said.
Select Energy did not return messages seeking comment.
Authority assistant manager Kevin Kaplan said he doesn't expect the company to take the full 1 million gallons each day. He said he conservatively expects the authority to net at least $30,000 each month.
Authority manager Jim Brucker said the water would be transported to “one or two one-million-gallon holding tanks” in Monroeville or Penn Township. A water line will be bored underneath the turnpike, and a pump station will be built to help transport the water.
Kaplan said the profit might not be substantial, but any amount will help.
“Pennies turn into nickels; nickels turn into dimes,” Kaplan said.
Board members said they will deliberate during the next several months on what to do with the money from Select Energy.
“A debt reduction, fee reduction, money for our capital assets, or our asset management plant – there are a lot of options,” board member Jim Hamilton said. “They might grow into that million. This really deserves its own meeting.”
Extra money will be useful for authority officials, who are behind schedule on a sewer line replacement plan that could cost as much as $2.9 million.
Money has been tight at the authority because of bond payments. To make a nearly $1 million payment in June, Brucker nearly drained the fund in which the authority keeps the monthly $3 asset-management fee all customers pay. That money is supposed to be used to replace various equipment and sewer lines on a predetermined schedule.
Brucker said the money will be returned to the fund by December, when the next, smaller, loan payment is due.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2365, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Franklin Regional’s proposed budget raises taxes by 1.82 mills
- Delmont Council approves bids for paving, storm sewer work
- Volunteers spruce up old Sardis Cemetery in Murrysville
- Franklin Regional moves forward on major technology upgrades
- Council asks for more detail on Delmont library plan
- Export historical group on its own with church acquisition