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EPA grant will help reduce Berwick sewage overflows

Release Date: 08/08/2006
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $192,400 grant to the Berwick Area Joint Sewer Authority in Columbia County, Pa. to upgrade the authority’s sewage system.

Upgrades are needed to alleviate problems with sewage overflows into the Susquehanna River during wet weather. These overflows degrade water quality in local streams and lakes and can create a public health hazard.

“Old, inadequate wastewater treatment and collection systems are a major cause of water pollution, and this grant will help to improve water quality and protect public health in the Berwick area,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Funding will go toward installing a new sanitary sewage line along Oak Street to carry wastewater from the Berwick Industrial Development Association complex to a wastewater treatment plant. Currently, the wastewater is dicharged into the same sewers that carry storm water. During wet weather, the sewage line can not handle the heavy flow, which causes sewage overflows into the Susquehanna River.

The township has been under a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection consent order to upgrade the system because of the excessive number combined sewers that transport sewage and storm water runoff. The order mandates that storm water be disconnected from the wastewater system.

The grant will pay for 55 percent of the project's eligible costs. Additional funding will be provided by the state. For more information on fixing combined sewers, visit: