SEWER DEPARTMENT HISTORY
In 1973, the Concord Township Sewer Authority was formed as an "Operating Authority" pursuant to Ordinance No. 82 when adopted by the Board of Supervisors on September 14 of that year. Over the years, many residents have volunteered their personal time as members of the Authority Board, to assure a responsible, viable Authority. The mix of expertise offered by these Concord citizens assures the continuing success of the operation. In 2011 the Board of Supervisors approved Resolution No. 18-2011 directing that the Concord Township Sewer Authority shall dissolve and transfer its assets, both real and personal, to Concord Township. Pursuant to this resolution, Concord Township has assumed all debts, obligations, contractual rights and duties of the Authority.
One of the major responsibilities of the Sewer Authority was to support the planning and development needs of the Township. The Concord Township Sewer Department (CTSD) now continues this responsibility. Whenever developers propose construction for a new residential community or commercial center, the CTSD will always be asked if there is treatment plant capacity available to provide the necessary wastewater treatment. If capacity is available and Township Council approves the development after review and recommendation by the Planning Commission, the CTSD will enter into a separate agreement with the developer for the installation of the collection lines. Whenever possible, the CTSD will attempt to have the developer install individual lateral connections for residents along the way. This offers township residents the opportunity to tie-in at a much more economical rate. As required by the PA Department of Environment Protection (DEP) under their Act 537 Plan, Township Council, from time to time, will update sewage planning for the Township through the preparation of an Act 537 plan. The CTSD also supports Township Council in this planning process.
The treatment plant and initial collection lines were constructed and installed through a unique contractual arrangement between the Authority and a group of developers who were restricted from building due to a DEP moratorium placed on new development in Concord Township. The restriction was in effect because the soil in many instances was not capable of supporting any more on-site septic systems. As a result, the developers group constructed the plant and collection system at a cost exceeding $6.9 million and the Authority negotiated a reimbursement amount of $5.1 million. The Authority was able to repay the developers group from capacity fees that were charged to subsequent developers such as Toll Brothers for Garnet Valley Woods and Concord Chase, Pulte Corporation for Smithfield Estates, and other developments such as The Shoppes at Brinton Lake, Delaware County for the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, the apartments at Summit, Cornerstone and Concord Point. The bottom line is the Authority was able to repay the entire construction obligation without any taxpayer cost.
Briefly, the wastewater treatment process being used by the Concord Township sewer plant is referred to as "Extended Aeration". Essentially, we feed copious amounts of air and a minimum amount of chemicals to the wastewater as it is being processed. We are working with the naturally occurring microorganisms ("bugs") to aid them in ridding the wastewater of environmentally harmful contaminants before we discharge to the west branch of the Chester Creek. Our strict discharge parameters are constantly monitored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We are proud to say that we are consistently within their guidelines.
Each customer can help to maintain and/or reduce the costs for processing wastewater by doing the following:
- Maintain lawn cleanouts by keeping them at least 6" above ground surface and the screw cap intact to prevent unwanted ground water infiltration, unwanted objects or small animals from entering the sewer system or your home;
- Use your garbage disposal unit sparingly. Scraps, large food matter, peelings, etc. should be placed in the trash;
- Do NOT flush or pour unwanted, unused or expired medications down the drain.
Dispose medications by using Delaware County's Drug Drop Boxes;
- Never dump paint, solvent, oil, fuel, or chemicals into your sewer system;
- Separate large amounts of grease; let the grease solidify in a container and place in the trash. Grease is extremely detrimental to the wastewater process and habitually clogs sewer trunk lines;
- Swimming pool water must not be discharged into the sewer system as the chemicals in that water will kill the bacteria needed for the sewage process to function properly;
- Basement sump pumps and rain water downspouts are prohibited from connection to the sewers as they add unnecessary stress to the hydraulic load at the sewer plant, thereby adding to the process costs;
- Use phosphate-free cleaning products and detergents to protect the environment;
- Feminine hygiene products should not be disposed of in the sewer system.