AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

July 11, 2014

Twp. running out of capacity

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Township is running out of wastewater capacity.

When Grove City Premium Outlets were built in 1994, the township made an agreement with Grove City Borough to be able to tap into its wastewater treatment plant on Greenwood Drive.

The original contract allowed for a flow of 190,000 gallons a day for development in Springfield; however, with additional large developments recently approved - including Candlewood Suites and Springfield Commons - the projected flow rate remaining for the township is just over 7,800 gallons a day, according to borough engineer Dan Goncz, who spoke to Grove City council members on June 16.

The owners of Candlewood Suites, which will be an 82-room hotel, expect to submit plans for an accompanying restaurant to borough council for additional flow, Goncz said.

The restaurant will need a flow of about 6,800 to 6,900 gallons per day, which will nearly eat up the remaining flow allotted to Springfield to its wastewater treatment plant, Goncz added.

Springfield Commons, which will include parcels for a hotel, plaza and gas station, needed a flow of 37,737 for its full project, which will be built in phases.

The second phase of upgrades to the borough's wastewater treatment plant has just ended and now phase three will begin, Goncz said.

The first phase of upgrades to the plant began in 2009, which was completed in 2012 and cost about $12 million, borough manager Vance Oakes said Monday. The second phase, which began in 2012, cost over $3 million, he added.

Bids will be opened July 9 at the borough building for phase three, Oakes said. Upgrades for the final phase will cost less than the first two phases, and consist of tightening up odds and ends that could not be done earlier, he said.

In May, Springfield's engineer Tom Bankson attended a meeting of the Wolf Creek-Slippery Rock Creek Council of Governments to ask if the other members would allow another Act 537 plan to review wastewater treatment needs locally, Oakes said. 

Grove City and Harrisville and Pine, Liberty and Springfield townships are members of the COG - and each of them tap into the borough's wastewater treatment plant.

The Act 537 plan is required by the state Department of Environmental Protection when wastewater needs of the COG members are all used up, and how those needs can be accommodated over a 20-year period, Oakes said.

He noted that the current Act 537 predicted fairly accurately how much flow Springfield would need over the past 20 years, as it is now about dried up.

However, since the usage hasn't run dry in the entire COG, a new Act 537 plan is not required, but Springfield may be looking to build an addition at the wastewater treatment plant to increase its own capacity, as well as Pine's, Oakes said. Springfield has an agreement to use Pine's pump station along Route 208 to help carry flow.

Springfield will be reevaluating its future needs for wastewater flow, and Bankson will return to the COG to reveal the findings to other members, Oakes stated. Pine knows how much flow it will need in the future, Oakes added.

However, Grove City, Liberty and Harrisville won't need more, he said. In fact, Harrisville agreed to give some of its flow capacity to Mercer Township in Butler County, he noted.

"We are built out," Oakes added about the borough. "We feel pretty confident with what we have." However, some flow may be needed for any potential growth at Cooper Industrial Commons, LLC, which is industrial property once used by Cooper Energy Services Inc.

The borough's original wastewater treatment plant construction included an expansion - along with upgrades - with a total price tag of about $20 million. Springfield supervisors opted out of the expansion, which would have mainly benefited the township that continues to see development surrounding the outlet mall; therefore, it would front much of the bill for the expansion.

That significantly brought the project amount down with upgrades only.

With a potential building addition in the wings, more money will be needed, which will be sought through state grant funds, Oakes said.

Published June 28, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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