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Helping Facilities Succeed

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides Enhanced Technical Assistance Evaluations (ETAE) with goals of reducing energy consumption and assisting operators and permittees in improving plant operations and reducing nutrients in their plant discharges while maintaining and/or surpassing the requirements of effluent limits established in NPDES permits.

Below are reports generated from ETAE. Descriptions include the facility treatment type and highlights from the ETAE.

  • 2009 Atglen Borough (PA0024651) (PDF), Lancaster County
    This is a Contact-Stabilization type activated sludge treatment facility that was identified as having issues including hydraulic overload, inadequate removal of ammonia, and compromised disinfection facilities. Ultimately, it was replaced with a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology.
  • 2009 Ephrata Borough Authority No. 2 (PA0087181) (PDF), Lancaster County
    This facility uses a Bio-Denitro mode phased isolation ditch (PID) process and was evaluated to determine if process modifications might improve effluent quality and water quality downstream at the Borough water works drinking water intake.
  • 2009 McConnellsburg Sewer Authority (PA0020508) (PDF), Fulton County
    This activated sludge – extended aeration facility had good overall operating efficiency, but was evaluated to determine if process modifications might help determine upgrades to meet new demands and regulatory changes.
  • 2009 Municipal Authority of Middleboro (PA0046418) (PDF), Erie County
    This conventional activated sludge, extended aeration treatment process facility appeared to have optimal plant operations, but high DO, sludge volume and sludge age, among other issues. It was evaluated to determine if process modifications might improve effluent quality and water quality downstream at a drinking water intake.
  • 2010 Clymer Borough (PA0090140) (PDF), Indiana County
    This well-run conventional treatment system was found to benefit from improvements to solids management and instrument-based process monitoring.
  • 2010 Elkland Borough STP (PA0113298) (PDF), Tioga County
    A study of this lagoon-based treatment system found that minor process monitoring and control improvements, including increased instrumentation, could further optimize an already adequate effluent quality.
  • 2010 Frackville Borough STP (PDF), Schuylkill County
    An evaluation aimed at improving downstream drinking water quality suggested minor process monitoring improvements through instrumentation and increased surveillance for this well-operated system.
  • 2010 Union Township (Lickdale) STP (PDF), Lebanon County
    An aging in-ground vault treatment system was evaluated to see if its service life could be extended. The facility was later upgraded to sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology to meet regional growth demands and new effluent nutrient limits.
  • 2010 Lower Salford Twp “Harleysville” STP (PA0024422) (PDF), Montgomery County
    This two-stage treatment process experienced operational challenges while attempting to meet stringent effluent limits for phosphorus. Process control improvements and process modifications were recommended.
  • 2010 Masontown Municipal Authority’s Bessemer STP (PA0023892) (PDF), Fayette County
    This conventional extended aeration process was evaluated to optimize a facility already holding a good compliance record. Minor process monitoring and control changes were recommended to improve effluent discharge quality.
  • 2011 Corsica Borough STP (PA0222283) (PDF), Jefferson County
    Ongoing maintenance and process control issues led to effluent quality problems at this facility that benefited from improved solids management and process monitoring. New management of the plant improved operations.
  • 2011 Highland Twp (James City) STP (PA0221520) (PDF), Elk County
    A conventional package facility with malfunctioning sand filters and a new operator experienced process control problems that were resolved through maintenance and process control improvements.
  • 2011 Shenango Township Municipal Authority STP (PA01034710) (PDF), Mercer County
    This dual-oxidation ditch conventional sludge facility experienced nitrification and solids control problems due to malfunctioning integral clarifiers, and a study recommended several improvements that would benefit process operations.
  • 2012 Berlin Borough STP (PA0021822) (PDF), Somerset County
    This project also included significant reductions in utility bills while reducing nutrients in the effluent. A successful cooperative effort between this municipal wastewater treatment facility and its most significant industrial customer led to process management improvements and better effluent quality.
  • 2012 Big Run STP (PA0223107) (PDF), Jefferson County
    This PureStream Biologically Engineered Single Sludge Treatment (BESST) facility experienced malodor problems due to retention of concentrated, anaerobic sludge. Process control modifications and new management improved operations and mitigated the malodors.
  • 2012 Portland Borough MBR (PA0064297) (PDF), Northampton County
    Pennsylvania’s first membrane bio-reactor treatment facility experienced process control problems during start-up, requiring improved alkalinity management in order to achieve stringent effluent limits on nutrients.
  • 2012 Terre Hill Borough STP (PA0020222) (PDF), Lancaster County
    A process optimization study at this facility suggested process control improvements to lengthen the useful service life of this facility which has since been converted to a pumping station for a regional treatment facility.
  • 2013 Jackson Center STP (PA0103331) (PDF), Mercer County
    A study of this pair of treatment processes, one domestic and the other industrial, identified many maintenance and process control problems that adversely affected effluent quality.
  • 2013 Mapleton Depot STP (PA0087513) (PDF), Huntingdon County
    A review of process control at this facility determined the need for better solids management.
  • 2013 Presque Isle STP, (PA0032549) (PDF), Erie County
    This small SBR facility with irregular loading experienced chronic effluent phosphorus and solids problems until a study identified maintenance, instrumentation, and process control opportunities that would improve performance.
  • 2013 Rayne Elementary School (PA0204498) (PDF), Indiana County
    A study of this very small treatment system with irregular loading suggested process control improvements and energy efficiency strategies to minimize operations costs while improving effluent quality.
  • 2013 SCI Laurel Highlands STP (PA0030406) (PDF), Somerset County
    This SBR plant attached to a correctional facility experienced effluent ammonia violations and nitrification problems due chiefly to high-strength leachate from a nearby landfill, and process changes including the addition of a BNR cycle were recommended.
  • 2015 Bryn Athyn Borough STP (PA0030023) (PDF), Montgomery County
    Facing new effluent nitrate limits, this facility installed baffle walls in its aeration tanks to convert from conventional process to modified Ludzack-Ettinger (MLE), achieving nitrate reductions and extending the life of this older facility at low cost.
  • 2015 Campelltown East STP (PA0087700) (PDF), Lebanon County
    The wastewater treatment process near Lebanon County Airport was evaluated to determine if energy cost savings though intermittent aeration would justify installation of new equipment for nutrient control.
  • 2015 Salisbury Twp STP (PA0081574) (PDF), Lancaster County
    A process control study determined a need for headworks improvements to remove “flushable” wipes, rags, and detritus from the waste stream.
  • 2016 Benezette Twp STP (PA0263711) (PDF), Underloading Study, Elk County
    A BESST package plant in Elk County experienced operational problems due to chronic underloading during tourist off-season in this rural community.
  • 2016 Benezette Twp STP (PA0263711) (PDF), High Tourist Season Study, Elk County
    A study repeated during high tourist season in this small community determined that seasonal increases in waste strength lead to frequent plant upsets.
  • 2016 Clarks Summit State Hospital STP Flow Study (PA0029432) (PDF), Lackawanna County
    A study of flow and loading to this trickling filter plant determined the need for new flow monitoring and sampling equipment to better characterize the facility’s waste load, in advance of developing a nutrient reduction strategy.
  • 2016 Lebanon Valley Mobile Home Community STP (PA0039551) (PDF), Lebanon County
    An evaluation of this small facility experiencing solids retention problems recommended use of chemical flocculants to assist with clarifier management, and it explored potential energy savings that might result from better process control.
  • 2016 Mahanoy City STP (PA0070041) (PDF), Schuylkill County
    This Schreiber Process facility improved its performance with the addition of process control instrumentation, resolving ongoing effluent limit excursions through automation of nutrient control.
  • 2017 Adamstown Borough STP (PA0021865) (PDF), Lancaster County
    Use of intermittent aeration at this dual oxidation ditch facility reduced effluent nitrate concentrations by 73%.
  • 2017 Topton Borough STP (PA0020711) (PDF), Berks County
    An evaluation of clarifier ashing determined that step feed of raw wastewater to this two-stage process would mitigate autodigestion of its activated sludge, and low-cost conversions for nutrient reduction might improve process control while reducing energy costs.
  • 2017 CCMA “Lehighton” STP (PA0063711) (PDF), Carbon County
    An evaluation of this Kruger Process phased isolation ditch process optimized nitrate and total nitrogen reduction by adding a missing cycle for anoxic mixing to its control automation.
  • 2017 Jenner Area Joint Sewer Authority STP (PA0042749) (PDF), Somerset County
    This contact/stabilization process was converted to conventional nitrification using simple plumbing changes, improving effluent quality while adding energy and chemical cost savings through process control improvements.
  • 2017 WWMA “Brush Creek” STP (PA0027570) (PDF), Westmoreland County
    Temporary conversion of this contact/stabilization process to complete mix explored process control improvements to improve effluent quality through nitrification of ammonia wastes and potential total nitrogen reduction.
  • 2018 Mapleton Area Joint Municipal Authority (PA0087513) (PDF), Huntingdon County
    This small-flow, extended aeration wastewater treatment facility proved to be an excellent candidate for biological nitrogen reduction, employing cycled aeration to achieve substantial reductions in total nitrogen while greatly reducing blower run times, leading to savings in energy consumption and chemical supplements without adding to personnel workload.