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West Norriton Considering its Own Sewage Treatment Plant

The plant would allow West Norriton to discontinue paying Norristown for its waste treatment.

Now that the dust has settled on recent controversies like the Westover Country Club sports complex and finding a , West Norriton commissioners are turning their attention to the sewers.

According to The Times Herald, the Board of Commissioners is reviewing a 2011 feasibility study on building a new sewage treatment plant for the township. The new plant would allow West Norriton to stop paying Norristown the 36% of operating costs for Norristown's plant – an agreement the two municipalities entered into in 1985 when Norristown took on treatment of West Norriton's waste water.

It would also reportedly get them off the hook for the estimated $54 million (plus another $1.5 million for annual operating and maintenance costs) they would have to pay for a new sewage treatment plant Norristown has planned.

According to the Herald, the feasibility study prepared last year by Lancaster-based RETTEW Associates, Inc. estimates that Pa. Department of Environmental Protection requirements would put the price tag for Norristown's new plant at $150 million. The study estimates that a new plant for West Norriton would only cost $37.3 million, with and addition $1 million for annual operating and maintenance costs.

The two sites currently being cosidered for the West Norriton plant are the current pump station at Rittenhouse Boulevard and Beaver Hollow Road and the site of the former PECO power station on Barbadoes Island.

Read more about the plans for the new plant and the DEP's push for improved sewage treatment in our region here.

djbemom July 30, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Maybe I am having a bad day and just cannot read correctly today.....does this say that the EPA costs to build a new plant are $150mil whereas the actual construction costs are $37.3mil for a total of $187.3mil? Does this really mean EPA costs are 5 times more than the actual cost to build the thing? PLEASE tell me I am misunderstanding something here.
James Myers (Editor) July 31, 2012 at 01:18 AM
You did misread it. The DEP estimate of $150mil is reportedly what it will cost Norristown to build its new treatment plant. The $37.3mil is what Rettew Associates estimates it will cost West Norriton to build its own plant. Not sure what the drastic cost difference is about, but I would guess it's capacity. West Norriton has less than half Norristown's population so Norristown would need a bigger plant.
Steve Owen July 31, 2012 at 05:28 PM
They should explore a Public Private Partnership with a company like PERC Water wherein we design build operate and finance the new facility for a pre determined time and then turn the infrastructure over to the municipality.
Manrico Troncelliti August 01, 2012 at 11:14 PM
There is no way they should build a separate plant. All the other communities around here on the north side of the Schuylkill River share sewage treatment plants. The $37 million dollar is probably a lowball estimate, and there is now way it can be cheaper to build your own plant than to share one with other municipalities.

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