Pennsylvania announces $39 million for water projects

In April, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the investment of $39 million for 12 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and nonpoint source projects across nine counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

“Today marked another special day for the Pennvest program and for the citizens of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in a press release. “By approving almost $40 million in funding for clean water projects across the commonwealth, the Pennvest board continued its commitment to improve the quality of our rivers and streams, the health of our families and the economic prosperity of our state.”

Of the $39 million, $18.2 million is allocated for low-interest loans and $20.8 million is awarded through grants. Four farm projects were also included.

The funding will come from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants to Pennvest from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous Pennvest awards. Funds for the projects are disbursed after bills for work are paid and receipts are submitted to Pennvest. Below is a summary of the Pennvest water projects:

PENNVEST Drinking Water Projects

Chester County

Elverson Water Company, Inc. received a $2,134,525 loan to improve its distribution system by replacing over half a mile of transmission pipes, installing 80 new service connections and other facilities, as well as completing the company’s distribution system by installing over a thousand feet of new transmission pipes.

Jefferson County

Eldred Township Municipal Authority received a $283,541 loan and a $546,549 grant to construct a new 96 thousand gallon water storage tank in order to provide a safe and dependable source of drinking water to the authority’s customers.

Monroe County

Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. received a $673,674 loan and a $1,673,945 grant in order to complete the rehabilitation of the existing Sun Valley drinking water system by constructing a new water storage tank, installing a new well pump and a variety of other facilities, as well as almost two miles of new water distribution lines. The existing system is in need of significant repair and is subject to leaks and periodic water outages.

Northampton County

Easton Suburban Water Authority received a $3,401,900 loan to make a variety of improvements to its drinking water system, including the installation of new control valves, hydrants and service laterals, as well as replacing a mile and a half of water distribution lines.  The authority’s system is leaking and not able to provide sufficient pressure during times of peak demand, or for firefighting.

PENNVEST Wastewater Projects

Delaware County

Yeadon Borough received a $9,593,398 loan to replace more than two miles of sewage collection lines that are cracked and subject to inflows during wet weather, as well as to replace the lateral lines running to 217 homes in the borough’s system.

Erie County

Greene Township received a $2,144,642 loan and a $7,255,358 grant to complete the final phase of a four-phase project that will provide wastewater collection service to areas of the township where malfunctioning on-lot septic systems are contaminating local drinking water wells and leaching untreated sewage into surface waters.

Non-point Source Water Quality Improvement Projects

Chester County

Chester County Conservation District and Elmer Kaufman received a $408,039 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including a concrete waste storage structure, gutters and downspouts, four catch basins and new pipes, as well as planting 900 feet of new grass waterways, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into Two Log Run during wet weather.

Lancaster County

Chester County Conservation District and Daniel Esh received a $350,467 grant to install a variety of manure control facilities, including more than 1,000 square feet of paved and curbed barnyard as well as 14,400 square feet of reinforced gravel animal trail, in order to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of the East Branch of Octoraro Creek during wet weather.

Chester County Conservation District and Fiddle Creek Dairy received a $245,494 grant to install a roofed manure stacking structure, a watering facility, underground outlets, as well as animal trails and walkways that will serve to reduce nutrient run-off into a tributary of Big Beaver Creek during wet weather.

Chester County Conservation District and David Stoltzfus received a $347,055 grant to make a variety of improvements it manure handling facilities as well as installing reinforced gravel animal walkways, a stream crossing and streambank fencing, all of which will reduce nutrient run-off into Muddy Run during wet weather.

Philadelphia County

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary was approved to receive $7,934,000 in funding to construct a freshwater mussel hatchery that will produce hundreds of thousands of mussels annually, which will be used to restore mussel beds in both the Susquehanna and Delaware estuaries. These mussels will, in turn, contribute to the improvement of water quality in both the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Estuary by filtering out nutrients, particularly nitrogen, that run off the land in these and into hundreds of streams in both watersheds.

Westmoreland County

Unity Township received a $2,050,000 grant to make a variety of improvements to its storm water control systems, which will include the installation of more than a mile and a half of new storm water pipes. The existing facilities are deteriorated and allow flooding of private property as well as contamination of local streams during heavy rainfall.

Some information contained in this story was first reported by Lancaster Farming.

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