Hyder to design major expansion of wastewater treatment plant

The Borough Council of Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, Pa., has selected Hyder North America to design and manage construction of a major upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant.

Jan. 26, 2001—The Borough Council of Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, Pa., has selected Hyder North America, Inc. of Reading, Pa. to design and manage construction of a major upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant, which will be expanded to serve portions of North Manheim and West Brunswick townships in addition to the borough.

The borough plans to pursue state Pennvest funding for the $4 million intermunicipal project early next year. Hyder will design the system upgrades and provide construction management services through the completion of the improvements. The first major reconstruction since the plant was built in 1964, the improvements will include a new treatment process - a vertical loop reactor, or VLR system - combined with ultraviolet disinfection. Orwigsburg will become the third municipal system to use VLR treatment in Pennsylvania. Hyder also designed the first VLR system in Pennsylvania for Shoemakersville Borough. Orwigsburg's existing reed bed sludge treatment system, which has been working effectively, will also be expanded as part of the project.

According to Daniel K. Strausser, Orwigsburg Borough manager, "The VLR, ultraviolet disinfection and reed bed treatment processes are biological methods that eliminate the need for chemicals like chlorine, and are thus environmentally friendly to meet the stringent discharge requirements to the Mahannon Creek and are safer for the operators. Both systems also meet the space limitations of the site, which is confined by wetlands, hillside and highway.

"The improvements will expand the Orwigsburg plant into a regional facility that will serve areas with failing on-lot septic systems and increase the system's capacity from an average annual flow of 600,000 gallons per day to 900,000 gallons per day. The larger system will meet the demands from residential and commercial growth on the Route 61 corridor and address an existing overloading of the system."

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