Fairchance-Georges Joint Municipal Sewage Authority in Smithfield PA has been awarded approximately $20 million in state grants and low-interest loans through the state’s PENNVEST Program to expand its existing treatment plant, according to Senator Pat Stefano (R-32).
Stefano said the municipal authority will use funds to expand the capacity of the existing treatment facility from .750 to 1.5 million gallons per day to accept additional sewage. The extension will include approximately 89,750 feet of sewer line and a 450 gallons-per-minute pump station.
The current treatment facility cannot handle additional flows, and existing on-lot septic systems have high malfunction rates, threatening groundwater supplies.
“This project will provide a safe and reliable water supply for the residents of Georges Township and Fairchance Borough, many of whom have malfunctioning septic systems,” Stefano said. “The funding will also play a crucial role keeping water costs down and protecting our environment. Without the funding, user fees would have increased by more than 80 percent.”
PENNVEST is not supported by the state’s General Fund budget, which covers the daily operations and services of the Commonwealth. Financing is provided through the use of federal funding and prior bond issues by the state as well as proceeds from Act 13 of 2012, the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee.
“Water and sewer systems are extremely important to the health and economy of a community, but very expensive to build and maintain,” Stefano said. “This PENNVEST funding is crucial to bringing our water system into compliance with state requirements and protecting our resources for future generations.”