Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sewage Plan Settled

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sewage Plan Settled

Article excerpt

Cranberry supervisors are moving ahead on one of the most expensive projects in township history - an upgrade in design and capacity to its sewage treatment plant.

The board agreed this month to hire GHD, an international engineering firm with its U.S. offices based in Baltimore, for $2.2 million of design work for the wastewater treatment facility off Powell Road.

Township staff had been evaluating for months whether to proceed with the expansion in phases or to construct a facility capable of handling the municipality's sewage treatment needs based on the anticipated peak population in terms of residential and commercial development.

Though the overall costs of a phased approach will be more expensive, township staff recommended - and supervisors agreed to - an approach that will come in two main phases.

The tipping factor in the decision was concern over anticipated changes in state and federal regulations.

"If we had a crystal ball - if we knew exactly how the [environmental] permit requirements were going to change - we would have picked a different approach," township engineer Jason Kratsas said.

But, there is no crystal ball. So, the approach to the project will be done in phases that factor in current regulations, which have changed in recent months, and development that is expected to occur in the next 15 years, instead of the next 30.

GHD has been asked to design a plant expansion that "contains the backbone infrastructure for total build-out so that we can add capacity when we need to and when we know what the [environmental] requirements will be," Mr. Kratsas said.

The cost of the first phase is expected to be about $45 million - about $20 million less than the total build-out option.

Over the long-term, another expansion project in 15 years or so will likely push the price tag to a figure beyond $65 million. "We know it will ultimately cost us more to do it this way but, all that being said, we are convinced this is a smarter way to spend money," Mr. Kratsas said.

One of the biggest issues that Cranberry is being forced to confront is a change in the treatment of stormwater. …

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