The sewer authority overseeing a sewage collection system around Lake Carey accepted bids last Thursday to begin work on a treatment plant as well as the collection system.
Construction could begin immediately, and past meetings of the Lemon Township and Tunkhannock Township Sewer Authority have suggested it will take at least 18 months to complete the collection system and 12 months for the treatment plant to become operational.
Contracts awarded Thursday, July 2, according to LTTTJMSA secretary Rebecca Kilmer, were: general construction of the wastewater treatment plant to Milnes Company of Tunkhannock — $4,703,949; the electrical construction system in the treatment plant to GR Noto of Clarks Summit — $902,000; and the low pressure sewer collection lines to Harger Utility Construction of Lock Haven — $5,593,934.
Kilmer said during a special meeting of the authority on June 24, there were around 20 units that had not satisfied a grinder pump easement status. Attorney Bill Lawrence suggested units not property signed up could go though a process seeking eminent domain or condemnation, and he was confident that would not interfere with the construction phase.
The need for a sewer system around Lake Carey has been a source of contention for years and was essentially settled when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection mandated a 537 plan around the lake that was approved in 2015 and updated the following year.
The original design called for a Biologically Engineered Single Sludge Treatment wastewater plant but was changed to be an Orbal system in order to be non-proprietary. It calls for a 120,000 gallons per day wastewater treatment plant that will be constructed to initially service 390 EDUs based on the sewage flow from the Lake Carey area in both Lemon and Tunkhannock townships.
The treatment plant will be located off Billings Mill Road behind the Shadowbrook Resort, with treated effluent discharged to the Tunkhannock Creek.
The LTTTJMSA was formed in 2012 on the advice of DEP, and both Lemon and Tunkhanock townships had to put up some of their own monies to get the project off the ground.
The sewer authority got a big boost last October when the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest) awarded a low-interest loan of $3,317,652 and a grant of $10,008,698 to complete the Lake Carey Sewer Project, by constructing a wastewater conveyance system and treatment plant, including a low pressure sewage collection system. The assistance meant that people’s monthly sewer bills would be “affordable” once the system is completed.