Water Pollution Control Plant planning moves forward in Hampton

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 12:01 AM

An update on the upgrades of the Water Pollution Control Plant and Glannon Pump Station was provided by KLH Engineers to Hampton Township Council at its November voting meeting.

The price for the upgrade to the sewage treatment plant, located on Toner Avenue, is $43.5 million. Work is estimated to cost $1.5 million for the Glannon Pump Station, located off of Mt. Royal Boulevard at the Shaler Township line.

The wastewater treatment plant, built in the 1970s, is aged and undersized for current needs. The infrastructure is also outdated. The last update was in 1991.

The township has been actively planning to provide a major renovation to the plant, which has to be done while the current plant is still operating.

“You will be looking at, in a sense, an absolutely brand-new facility,” said Township Manger Christopher Lochner, who said council can expect a final design to be presented to them in April.

KLH engineers reviewed the goals and timeline of the plant renovation.

Brendan Tobin, design engineer for KLH, said as the township grows, the current facility can’t adequately meet township needs, thus, causing more operational and maintenance costs.

“There’s a lot of changes to the township, a lot more flow coming to the plant,” said Tobin, adding this causes higher risk of violating permits from the Department of Environmental Protection.

“The new plant will nearly replace the old plant … more efficiently, more safely,” he said.

And the upgrade will provide treatment to the township with a “lifetime of 30 years,” he said.

Many issues are planned to be solved by the renovation, aside from providing a facility to serve the township adequately. Tobin said the renovated plant will also address the prevalent odor problems, which is due to the outdated and undersized operational machinery meant to treat raw sewage.

Also, the current plant has been subject to flooding due to its proximity to Pine Creek. Tobin said it will be pushed completely away from the floodplain. Plus, all of the critical operational items in the plant will be properly elevated from ground level.

The timeline to complete a preliminary design and submit the project to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a construction permit is projected for January.

There are long waiting periods between submission to the DEP due to the anticipated application review by the state. Eric Tissue of KLH Engineers said designs of similar plant size could have a six- to nine-month permit approval process by the state.

Completed final design is hoped for by June with construction beginning January 2021, according to Tobin.

They estimate complete construction by May 2023.

The engineers have the task of designing and building the plant while keeping the current one operational. Tobin said there is not much they can use or repurpose from the old plant to the new because the infrastructure is also aged.

Like the treatment plant, the Glannon Pump Station is also “incredibly undersized and incredibly old,” according to an earlier report by Jim Degnan, director of Hampton’s environmental services.

There are three other pump stations in Hampton which are in good operation. Since it is in a residential area, the new pump station is designed to look like a house.

The township is waiting for DEP to issue a permit to proceed with the pump station project. Lochner said they had hoped to receive this permit by now.

The pump station is a recipient of a $500,000 Gaming Economic Development Fund grant. Since they have not yet received the permit, Lochner said they are currently requesting an extension on the GDEF grant through the Allegheny Redevelopment Authority until June 30 of next year.

Other funding for the projects will mostly come from using bonds, according to Lochner. The township is also hoping to obtain a Community Development Block grant and a Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant, said Lochner.

These grants should total approximately $1 million, said Lochner.

A sanitary sewer rate increase implemented at the beginning of this year of about $7.50 additional per monthly residential bill will pay for debt service from the bonds, according to Lochner.