Nov 19, 2007

Loan Agreements Clear Way for Wastewater Plant

The Portage Area Sewer Authority is finalizing a $9.8 million loan from the state, which will be used toward the establishment of a wastewater treatment plant.

The Portage (Pennsylvania) Area Sewer Authority is completing the documents for a $9.8 million loan from the state of Pennsylvania, a loan that is scheduled to close on Jan. 23, after which work on a $10 million wastewater treatment plant can begin.

The plant, which should be completed in 2009, will be licensed at 2 million gallons per day (gpd), which doubles the capacity of the existing 30-year-old plant. This should end problems with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, which for years has threatened penalties if plant overflow runs untreated into the Little Conemaugh River during heavy rains.

This week, the sewer authority agreed to increase the overall cost of the project by $62,500. 
The additional money is needed to cover the cost of a rotary sludge press, which will be used in the plant over the more conventional types included in the base bid.

Water will be pressed from the sludge, which then will be hauled to a landfill.

The rotary press will be less expensive to operate and require less maintenance, saving money in the long run, authority officials said.