Through a lease-back agreement with the Municipal Authority, the Department of Public Works has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the Township’s sanitary sewer system, which consists of 86 miles of sewer lines, four pumping stations and the Ridley Creek Sewer Treatment Plant. Approximately 93% of the 8,500 residential units and all of the businesses in the Township are connected to public sewer.
Sewage flows from the eastern portion of Township are treated at the Ridley Creek Sewer Treatment Plant, located on Towne Drive near Line Road. Ridley Creek was upgraded in 2010 and can now handle 700,000 gallons per day of sewage. In 2010, the Municipal Authority completed an $8.6 million upgrade and expansion of this plant, which was originally constructed in 1984. Primary treatment at Ridley Creek is processed in four state-of-the-art Sequencing Batch Reactor tanks. The new plant does not use harsh chemicals like chlorine; instead, effluent passes under a bank of ultra-violet, germ-killing lights. Water leaving the plant either flows through the wetland and into the creek or is pumped to Applebrook Golf Course for watering the turf.
Sewage flows from Hershey’s Mill Village are treated at the Green Hill Sewer Association treatment plant near the intersection of Mill Road and Chandler Drive in Hershey’s Mill. The Township does not operate this system, and accordingly Hershey Mill Village residents are not billed by the Township for sewer services. The plant purifies wastewater using naturally occurring microbes that live in the water and convert the waste into carbon dioxide and water using oxygen from the air. In this plant, the rate and degree of cleansing are increased by bubbling air through thousands of small holes in pipes at the bottom of the three treatment ponds located along Chandler Drive. The water spends approximately 21 days in the treatment ponds, and then it is transferred to a 38 million gallon storage lagoon, where additional aeration is supplied. The treated water is finally pumped from the lagoon and sprayed on the golf course. In the winter when the golf course does not need water, the treated water is sprayed on several spray fields located inside Hershey’s Mill Village. You might have seen spraying in the field located near Rt. 352. Phosphorus in the treated water feeds the grass and plant life and does not enter the watershed.
The remaining sewage flows, mostly from the western portion of the Township flow to the Chester Creek Sewage Treatment Plant in West Goshen, which allows us 1 million gallons of flows per day (we average about 800,000 GPD to West Goshen).
Among the various responsibilities of the Public Works Department is to monitor and repair Infiltration and Inflow (I&I) problems caused by groundwater leaking into sanitary sewer lines, which if left unchecked, can substantially increase sewage flows to the plants and drive up treatment costs.
Generally speaking, you are responsible for sewage clogs from your property to your sewer connection at the street. However, you are encouraged to contact the Public Works Department at 610-692-7171 before contacting your plumber to rule out what might be causing the clog in the first place. In addition, please contact the Public Works Department if you have a broken or damaged sewer cap in your front yard. The Township will repair or replace them.
520 households in the Township are served by an on-lot septic system. Households on septic systems are required have their systems pumped by a licensed contractor once every 3 years and then remit proof of pumping and a $10 administrative fee to the Township. Please contact Jennifer Conrad at the Township for more details.