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#NewtownPA Sewer Authority Investigating Plans For Treatment Facility on Lower Silver Lake Road

#NewtownPA Sewer Authority Investigating Plans For Treatment Facility on Lower Silver Lake Road | Newtown News of Interest |

The Newtown, Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority is investigating the possibility of acquiring land and building its own sewage treatment plant in the township that could save ratepayers in the long run, the authority said.


During remarks before the Newtown Borough Council on Wednesday, the authority’s executive director Warren Gormley said the authority is looking into the feasibility of acquiring a 17.5-acre tract on Lower Silver Lake Road for the construction of a state-of-the-art treatment facility to serve the authority’s 9,000 customers in Newtown Township and Newtown Borough.


“We have not made an offer as of yet,” said Gormley. “We are talking about it. We’re also putting numbers together for the cost of the treatment plant and the rates and projecting what the cost would be 10, 15, 20, and 30 years out.


Is The Township REALLY "On Board?"


“We’ve talked to the Department of Environmental Resources (DEP) and the DEP is on board with us. We also talked to the township and they are on board as well*,” said Gormley.


[*As far as I can recall, this has NOT come before the Newtown Board of Supervisors at a public meeting. So, unless by "talked to township" Gormley means unofficial, non-public conversations with one or more supervisors or Township Manager or other officials, I do not believe it is accurate to say that the township is "on board" with the Sewer Authority's plan to develop a treatment plant on Lower Silver Lake Road.]


So what is driving the need for a new sewer treatment plant?


[At the August 10, 2022 Newtown BOS meeting, Mr. Gormley discussed the 3rd-party sewage treatment expenses the Authority pays of the Read “#NewtownPA Supervisors Approve Letter Opposing Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) Sewer Sale”;]


“We have no recourse in rate increases, rate adjustments or negotiations. That’s all done by Bucks County and Philadelphia,” said Gormley.


[Yes, Bucks County raises rates to Newtown Sewer Authority by 17%, and in turn Newtown Sewer raises rates to consumers by 20%! Read: “#NewtownPA Sewer Authority Raises Rates by 20%”;]


Steer Own Own Shi*


By building its own state-of-the-art system that would treat the waste in Newtown, the community “can steer our own ship in the future,” he said [or, as others might say, “steer our own shit!”].


According to Gormley, the authority is looking at building a 2.5 million gallon per day Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) treatment plant.


“It’s the newest thing that’s out. We’re looking at an over 2.5 million (gallons per day) facility. It’s going to be pretty good size but a lot of it is going to be undercover. There’s not that much odor to this only because it’s moved constantly with air all the time in the tanks and that’s what breaks it up.”


Gormley said he would keep borough officials apprised as the authority conducts its due diligence.



johnmacknewtown's insight:


I think Mr. Gormley should ALSO keep Newtown Township officials - and by that I mean supervisors - apprised as well. He should do this at a public meeting so that residents are also "apprised."


UPDATE (9/12/23): At a Newtown Sewer Authority meeting, Mr. Gormley informed me that he would come before the Newtown BOS at it September 27, 2023 meeting.


NOTE: The site is the same site that KRE developers plan to build a multi-story apartment building (read “Developer Challenges Validity Of Zoning Ordinance In #NewtownPA Township”;


Some History


Back in 2013, Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority proposed building a sewage treatment plant on the Bypass in Newtown, according to a Patch article.


Gormley explained to the residents that something has to be done about sewage treatment in Bucks County. There has been a moratorium on building permits because Bucks County's sewer line is hydraulically overloaded, he explained.


"Because of that, we are looking for options," Gormley said.


No Big Secret


There has been no attempt to hide this from the public. As I said previously, this has been discussed in the public meetings of the Sewer Authority. Unfortunately, very few if any residents attend these meetings and minutes of the meetings are not readily available. However, a June 27, 2023 Patch article stated: "The Patch has learned that the Newtown, Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority is currently appraising the property as it investigates it as a potential site for a future sewer treatment plant." I reported this on my Blog even earlier on June 22, 2023: (see section "Sh*t May Happen").

If you check the JMZO, a public utility operation under an F-1 use is allowed by Special Exception in the OR district. The key feature is that it can only occupy 10% of the total property.
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Newtown News of Interest
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