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Westmoreland Fayette Municipal Sewage Authority continues toward construction of treatment plant

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 9:45 p.m.

Westmoreland Fayette Municipal Sewage Authority officials are continuing to look for progress in the construction of a sewage treatment plant.

The authority was approved for funding last year, but the paperwork phase — permit approvals and design work — has yet to be complete. The authority has two and a half years to construct the new plant and have the facility up and running.

The existing facility is permitted for 1.6 million gallons a day. The new facility will be able to handle 2.5 million gallons a day.

The current treatment plant has a trickling filter with a peak flow of 2.5 million gallons a day while the proposed sequential batch reactor will have a peak flow of 25 million gallons a day.

Authority board member Tom Seaman said the authority has completed the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan that has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and Part 1 of the NPDES discharge permit was submitted to the DEP in March of last year.

“The authority is awaiting DEP review, comment and issuance of a draft of the Part I permit, which will establish the facility's discharge limits,” Seaman said. “These limits are the basis of the design for the new treatment facility.”

“We have not received any comments from the DEP at this time, but we hope to hear something in the next few months,” he added.

As soon as the authority has that, it can move forward with Part II NPDES construction permit, but this permit application cannot be submitted to the DEP until after the draft Part I Permit has been issued.

The application for the Part II Permit includes full construction drawings and specifications and a design report for the plant, pump station and Interceptor upgrades.

“Widmer (Engineering) has progressed with the design as far as reasonably possible without knowing the design parameters,” Seaman said. The design is about 75 percent complete. “A design submission has been transmitted to the USDA and US Army Corps of Engineers for review and comment.”

Multiple alternative alignments have been investigated and a preferred solution is being finalized.

Funding for the project includes a $2 million Army Corps of Engineers grant as well as a $14,394,000 loan from the USDA.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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