Wednesday, January 20, 2021

$178 Million Invested In 14 Water Infrastructure Projects In 11 Counties By PennVEST

On January 20, the
PA Infrastructure Investment Authority announced the investment of $178 million in loans and grants for 14 water infrastructure projects in 11 counties.

"This continued focus on improving and investing in our infrastructure is vital for strong communities,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Partnering with community leaders to make these investments, which ensure increased access to clean drinking water and provide stable environments for Pennsylvanians to work and live, is paramount to our regrowth as a Commonwealth.” 

The funding for these projects originates from a combination of state funds approved by voters, Growing Greener, Marcellus Legacy funds through Act 13 drilling impact fees, federal grants to PennVEST from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and recycled loan repayments from previous PennVEST funding awards. 

Funds for these projects are disbursed after expenses for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PennVEST for review. 

"These investments are not just in today’s improvements, but in our homes and businesses for generations to come,” said Gov. Wolf. “Strong communities and healthy Pennsylvanians depend on clean water and thrive where there is secure infrastructure.”

The projects funded include--

Drinking Water Projects

-- Blair County

     -- Altoona Water Authority – received a $21,000,000 loan to upgrade and rehabilitate the Bellwood Dam, a 119-year-old dam whose spillway was recently reported as severely deficient by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The project will restore structural integrity of the dam and allow for improved control of water withdrawal from the reservoir. 

     -- *Altoona Water Authority – received a $9,900,000 loan to improve the Bellwood water treatment facility, including the installation of new raw water metering and ozone generation and injection systems. The project will improve treatment to remove giardia and cryptosporidium, while also increasing the general reliability and quality of community drinking water. 

-- Lehigh County 

     -- *Lehigh County Authority – received a $2,000,000 loan to replace two high lift pump variable frequency drives and add a third drive. The project will continue the supply of finished drinking water and ensure appropriate capacity levels are achieved for the supply area. 

-- Snyder County 

     -- *Middleburg Municipal Authority – received a $4,031,176 loan and a $555,024 grant to replace approximately 10,000 feet of cast iron and asbestos cement pipe with ductile iron pipe, while adding a new 290,000-gallon water storage tank and a 163,000-gallon standpipe tank. The project will satisfy the requirements of a DEP Consent Order, reduce water loss through leaking pipes, and ensure safe potable drinking water for the supply area. 

Wastewater Projects

-- Allegheny County 

     -- **Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority – received a $7,750,000 loan to rehabilitate roughly 7.4 miles of wastewater collection line in the Brighton Heights, Hazelwood, and South Side slope areas of Pittsburgh. The project will address a DEP Corrective Action Plan and reduce discharges into the Monongahela and Ohio rivers. 

-- Lycoming County  

     -- Franklin Township – received a $2,757,804 grant to construct the Lairdsville sanitary sewer system, consisting of 8,500 feet of piping, laterals, and a pumping station. The project will address existing malfunctioning onlot sewage systems and ensure proper treatment of raw sewage. 

-- Mercer County 

     -- Perry Township – received a $3,950,500 grant to implement an Act 537 sewage plan which includes the installation of 42,500 feet of pressure mains, grinder pumps, and a wastewater treatment plant. The project will extend wastewater service to the Hadley and Camp Perry areas of Perry Township, meet regulatory requirements, and eliminate a number of onlot “wildcat” sewage systems, which currently have a failure rate of 86%. 

-- Mifflin County 

     -- Brown Township Municipal Authority – received a $2,100,000 loan to construct a secondary clarifier for the existing wastewater service area.  The project will serve 1,197 residential customers, adding redundancy by replacing and decommissioning current clarifiers that do not meet peak flow conditions.

     -- Union Township Municipal Authority – received a $1,781,522 loan and a $1,618,478 grant to install a new aerobic digester and pump station with three new pumps, aeration blowers, and upgrades to existing storage tanks. The project will achieve compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and improve discharge into the Kishacoquillas Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. 

-- Philadelphia County 

     -- **City of Philadelphia – received a $100,115,000 loan to construct a 300-million-gallon-per-day preliminary treatment facility, including a diversion structure to reroute wastewater from existing sewer interceptors and new screening and grit removal systems. The project will address numerous requirements under the federal Clean Water Act and the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, while also reducing the combined sewer overflows into the Delaware River. 

Stormwater Projects

-- Clarion County 

     -- Hawthorn Borough – received a $158,267 loan and a $1,179,583 grant to install approximately 6,430 feet of storm sewer, inlets, and grass swales. The project will alleviate flooding and increase water quality through the use of grass swales, designed to infiltrate stormwater.

-- Delaware County 

     -- **Stormwater Authority of the City of Chester – received a $9,963,539 grant to address localized flooding in the Veteran’s Park area of the City of Chester by installing approximately 1,600 feet of pipe, inlets, porous panels, and a regional stormwater control basin. The project will improve water quality through the use of capturing inlets and address critical safety hazards caused by first-floor residential flooding. 

-- Lackawanna County 

     -- Lace Building Affiliates, LP – received a $2,554,667 loan to provide stormwater relief for the redevelopment of the Lace Village in Scranton, including 5,923 feet of storm sewer, a 200-gallon rain barrel, and underground detention basins. The project will prevent flooding on the redevelopment site, which is located in an environmental justice community, and employ green infrastructure. 

-- Philadelphia County 

    -- **City of Philadelphia – received a $6,720,000 loan to address stormwater issues in the southwest Lawncrest neighborhood of North Philadelphia by installing 31 green infrastructure systems, including tree trenches, bumpouts, and stormwater trees.  The project will improve water quality conditions and reduce the amount of untreated effluent entering the Delaware River in an environmental justice area. 

* denotes projects that are funded with Drinking Water State Revolving Funds  

** denotes projects that are funded with Clean Water State Revolving Funds 

For more information on water infrastructure funding available, visit the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority website.

[Posted: January 20, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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