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Authority Steps Forward In Muncy Water System Plan

By Staff | Mar 11, 2009

The Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority has taken another step forward in its plans to expand its water system into eastern Lycoming County.

On Wednesday, the authority approved an agreement with State College-based engineering firm Herbert, Rowland and Grubic Inc. to perform final design on the project as it pertains to an interconnection with the Borough of Muncy’s water system.

The agreement also calls for the firm to oversee the bidding and construction phases of the project.

The interconnection is one of several options the authority has identified as a means of expanding the system.

Other options include an interconnection with the Borough of Hughesville’s water system, constructing a high yield well, or a combination of all of the options.

The agreement calls for the firm to be paid up to $50,000.

According to HRG engineer David Swisher, the entire project, including the acquisition of easements and right-of-ways, is expected to cost $1.5 million.

“The scope of the project is clearly defined. We know where the facilities need to go,” he said. “We have to get from point A to point B with a booster station somewhere in between.”

The authority also authorized engineer Charles Amer III of Montoursville-based Brinjac Engineering to seek bids on an electrical system upgrade for the authority’s wastewater treatment plant.

The upgrade, which Amer estimated would cost $200,000 to $300,000, is needed to power technology associated with a new monitoring system that will provide information on nutrient loads in the water that is being treated, as well as new, more powerful treatment equipment.

Amer said the monitoring equipment will cost between $400,000 and $450,000.

Authority executive director Christine Maggi-Weigle expressed concern regarding the amount of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous that are being discharged from the plant on an annual basis.

The current nitrogen discharge is only slightly more than allowable under state Department of Environmental Protection guidelines associated with the initiative to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Those guidelines go into effect in 2011.

Although the amount above the allowable level is not excessive, Maggi-Weigle said she was concerned because the plant is only treating about one-third of its capacity.

The plant should be able to treat wastewater at near full capacity and still be under allowable nitrogen levels, she said.

Phosphorous levels are slightly under allowable levels, Maggi-Weigle said.

Treatment plant staff will try different treatment strategies to bring nitrogen and phosphorous levels down, she said.

Maggi-Weigle said the proposed monitory system is important because it will allow staff to monitor nutrient levels in real time to determine the success of the treatment methods.