The Wastewater Department maintains the wastewater collection system and operates the treatment plant. Paul A. Herb, Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent and H. David Miller, Assistant Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent run this 13-person department. The plant is manned 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is computer monitored the rest of the time.
The Department is equipped with eight trucks and a backhoe. A two-man repair crew handles repairs to mains and laterals. In addition, the Township spends $35,000 a year on televising and sealing of mains in an ongoing effort to reduce infiltration of rain water. The Department has acquired its own TV camera to inspect sewer laterals. Telephone: 610-582-8300.
Sewage Enforcement Officer
Wastewater Treatment Plant Functions
Sludge Dryer Project
SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Berks Envirotech serves the Township for on-site septic system enforcement. They can be reached at 610-375-7640.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT FUNCTIONS
All life on Earth depends on clean water. We use it for drinking, bathing, farming, industry and recreation. We also change it when we use it, sadly, degrading it by adding human waste, solid waste, food waste and chemicals. The only way to keep the water supply clean for the millions of people that depend on it to live is to process it through a Wastewater Treatment Plant, which essentially speeds up the natural process of cleaning our water with a variety of methods, some of which are physical, mechanical, biological and chemical. Simply put, the harmful substances in wastewater are either eaten by bacteria or are filtered out by special devices.
All treatment plants are regulated, inspected and audited by State and Federal agencies. Exeter Township takes very seriously the obligations to our customers, the environment and the regulatory agencies.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT FEES
When a developer of either a residential subdivision or a commercial or industrial site first begin the planning process, one of the things they must ascertain is that there is capacity at our WWTP for their water to be treated. The Exeter Township plant has a capacity limit of 7.1 Million gallons of flow per day. Each use (residential, school, retail, industrial, etc.) has a defined way to calculate their potential capacity, to which they are referred as EDU’s (equivalent dwelling unit). Dwelling units generally use about 229 gallons per day that ultimately end up at the plant for treatment. This is the basis for which we calculate all other use’s capacity.
These one-time fees are paid at the time a building permit is issued and this fee has absolutely nothing to do with the quarterly consumption fee aka the SEWER RENTAL FEE. This is essentially every customer’s purchase of their own little piece of the treatment plant to assure their waste water will be treated as long as the use exists.
SEWER RENTAL FEE
This is the fee that is paid every quarter by the customers -- their sewer bill. It’s from this “account” that the Township pays for the financing and costs of plant operation and maintenance; the collection system costs; administration and employee related costs.
This is calculated and ultimately billed as follows: For those property owners not connected to a public water source, there are two options: 1) be charged a flat quarterly amount of $94.25 or 2) have a meter installed to measure the amount of water you are using from your well. Most of the water used in and around your home or business is discharged into the treatment plant; however, we have built into the rate structure a 15% credit for water used for washing vehicles, watering lawns, etc.
For those property owners connected to Pennsylvania American Water or Mt. Penn Borough Municipal Authority, readings are obtained from these companies and are used to calculate your quarterly bill. The minimum quarterly residential bill is $38.60; which includes the first 5,000 gallons of usage. For every 1,000 gallons used above the first 5,000 a charge of $4.60 is charged. For example, if you use 10,000 gallons in a given quarter, you would be billed $61.60.
Non-payment of your quarterly sewer bill results in additional costs to you. Once an account becomes delinquent (in excess of $500), the Township will take action to have water turned off until the bill is paid (adds another $60 for each occurrence) or your account will be turned over to a collection agency (adds 25% of your outstanding balance). Delinquent accounts result in cash flow issues for the Township and may result in sewer rate adjustments; which are unfair to your friends and neighbors. Be considerate – pay your bill on-time or make payment arrangements with the Township before things get out of hand.
EXETER TOWNSHIP’S CUSTOMERS
Obviously our customer base is every building that is connected to the public sewer system, including St. Lawrence Borough. In addition, for the past fifteen (18) years, our WWTP has been accepting liquid waste from many liquid waste haulers from the entire state of Pennsylvania. We do this to offset the cost of operating our plant. These include septage, industrial waste, leachates from landfills and Biosolids. This program has helped keep Exeter’s sewer customers’ rates down.
SLUDGE DRYER PROJECT
The Biosolids Drying Facility (a.k.a. sludge dryer) at the Wastewater Treatment Plant was completed and put on line in 2011 This piece of equipment will help reduce operation costs at the plant, and at the same time, create an opportunity to convert a waste product into fertilizer or an energy source.
What is it? Essentially it is a big oven that will evaporate water from the sludge. Currently our sludge is 24% solid and 76% water. By using a dryer, the sludge becomes 94% solid and 6% water. This means only 1/5th of the amount of dewatered sludge has to be disposed of for 1/5th of the disposal cost. But our real goal is the environment. Drying of Biosolids causes destruction of bacteria, the reduction of odors and produces Class A pathogen-free Exceptional Quality Biosolids suitable for many applications.
What are Exceptional Quality (EQ) Biosolids? Biosolids are an organic-based, slow-release specialty fertilizing material made from treated, processed, and stabilized residuals resulting from the treatment of wastewater. Biosolids provide a valuable source of organic matter. Biosolids also serve as natural nitrogen fertilizing material, making it less susceptible to leaching losses than conventional chemical fertilizer, and providing a consistent, evenly spread product that does not burn plants. Because EXETER TOWNSHIP EQ BIOSOLIDS meet the PADEP most stringent trace element limits, Class A pathogen, and vector reduction standards, they can be applied anywhere. Like all commercial fertilizer products, EXETER TOWNSHIP EQ BIOSOLIDS should be used in a way to avoid potential environmental impacts. Therefore, the standard application practices used with any commercial fertilizer are recommended for the application of EQ BIOSOLIDS.
Recommendations for Use
EXETER TOWNSHIP EQ BIOSOLIDS may be used as a fertilizer for flower gardens, shrubbery, and potted plants. It can also be used for the production of agronomic crops, such as corn, hay, or small grains. It is an excellent fertilizer for use in the establishment and/or maintenance of turf grass, lawns, and mechanically harvested forage grass. Biosolids may also be used as an agent for blending with other approved residuals.
Beneficial use of Biosolids in agriculture has an excellent track record, over a period of more than 40 years. Hundreds of academic and actual field studies, along with the experience of thousands of farmers show that Biosolids use provides greater crop yields.
In the future Exeter also sees this as an opportunity to dispose of dried Biosolids by using the end product as an alternative energy source, that is, as a fuel source for an industrial process with a large burner that could use Biosolids as a fuel supplement. Some examples are coal fired power plants, large steam boilers and cement kilns. This would allow for partial avoidance of other energy sources such as coal. As and example, if Biosolids were used to heat cement kilns, the ash residual would become a part of the cement thereby, totally eliminating what was once a waste product.
Forward thinking Township Supervisors recognize that the opportunity to save money and better the environment justified capital cost required to build the dryer. The hope is that this project will reduce current sewer rates.