Water is life. Safe water is essential to the public health, the prosperity of our industry, and our quality of life. The WBRA is dedicated to protecting our water resources by creating a sustainable water infrastructure, partnering with our municipal neighbors, and investing in our human resources.
In the mid-2000s, the Muncy/Montgomery region was facing difficult, costly choices regarding how to address the federal requirements for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and dealing with an aged and failing sanitary sewer infrastructure. Montgomery Borough, Muncy Borough, Clinton Township, Muncy Creek Township, the Montgomery Water and Sewer Authority, Muncy Borough Municipal Authority, and Muncy Creek Township Sewer Authority worked together in 2010 to craft a new, regional approach to sanitary sewer service that addressed numerous challenges:
- The two existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were in poor condition and were unable to meet the new Chesapeake Bay nutrient removal requirements
- The WWTPs were landlocked with no available room to expand.
- The WWTPs were located in the flood zone (as much as 10 ft below 100 year flood elevation) which resulted in damage to the critical infrastructure over time.
- The WWTPs were in poor physical condition and in need of complete upgrade, including significant structural issues
- In accordance with traditional maintenance practices, only limited preventative maintenance was being performed at the plants in the collection system
- The collection systems were under pressure from the state due to excessive amounts of non-sewage water entering the sewer system, which resulted in the imposition of a Consent Order and Agreement in May of 2012
- The existing systems lacked the necessary knowledge and experience to deal with these significant changes
The WBRA was created in July of 2010, and became the owner and operator of the four sewer systems in July of 2012. The existing operations staff was retained by the WBRA and provided with education and support, and have been joined by new staff. Preventative maintenance including jetting and cleaning of sewers, CCTV, private property inspection, smoke testing, CIPP patch repairs, system-wide SCADA, GIS mapping, and major equipment repairs/upgrades have been implemented. Customer service and emergency response capabilities have been made a priority.
The new WBRA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is on target for completion in 2014, at a location along Route 405 between the two communities that is out of the flood zone. A pipeline replacement project was commenced in mid-2014 that will result in the replacement of over 11,000 feet of broken and failing sewer pipes.
In January of 2013, just six months after our start-ups as the owner of the sewer systems, our municipal partners needed assistance with their drinking water systems as their existing licensed system operators were retiring and they were unable to find qualified replacements. WBRA was glad to offer assistance, and we are now operating and maintaining the drinking water systems by contract.
The WBRA has been very busy since our inception, and I am proud of our staff and our Board members for their dedication and effort in tackling these massive challenges. As our sewer project work comes to a close in 2015 we look forward to being able to focus on improving service for our customers and striving to find ways to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the sanitary sewer and drinking water systems. We also look forward to working with our partners at the North Central Source Water Protection Alliance (NCSWPA) to advocate for the protection of our drinking water supplies throughout our region. Be sure to check out the NCSWPA page on this site.
Improving water and sewer service and taking action to protect our water resources are daunting tasks. We welcome the engagement and feedback of our customers and municipal partners