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By Natalie Gorsuch
Williamsburg Correspondent 

Catharine Township Hosts Meeting to Address Ganister Sanitary Sewer Issues


January 24, 2019

The Catharine Township supervisors paid host to many professional individuals during a special meeting last Thursday afternoon, Jan. 15.

Among the individuals in attendance besides the supervisors were Sewage Planning Specialist from Pa. Department of Environmental Protection Bethany Sweger, Sewage Enforcement Officer Luke Helsel and Keller Engineers Engineer Dave Cunningham and other community officials.

The supervisors organized this meeting to proceed in the process of drafting an Act 537 plan, specifically for the Ganister area. Act 537, the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, requires that all municipalities develop, revise and implement official sewage facility plans. A fundamental part of this Act 537 Plan is the identification and documentation of the sewage disposal needs in a municipality.

Helsel explained to the group that of the approximately 23 residences in Ganister, 65 percent to 70 percent have a malfunctioning sewer system.

Catharine Chairman Ken Brenneman asked those in attendance, “what do we need to do to begin this project?”

A complete Act 537 plan, Sweger told supervisors would be roughly a two-to-three year project but the planning for the Ganister part would take an estimated six months, in what she referred to as a “more accelerated project.”

Following planning period, the plans would undergo design, permitting and then to the construction phase.

Cunningham told those in attendance it would take “at least two years” until tapping can begin into a new or upgraded public sewer system.

What concerned the Catharine Township supervisors in the first place was the costs of the project engineering study, which was estimated at $25,000 a few years ago, with the costs of the actual construction project, “at least a few hundred thousand dollars.”

Cunningham said that the evaluation of Ganister would cost the township $8,000.

Supervisor Ralph Rispoli made a motion to direct Keller Engineers to begin a sewer extension plan evaluation, with a cost not to exceed $8,000. Chairman Ken Brenneman seconded and the motion passed.


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