At its meeting Monday night, the Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum heard an annual update on the University Area Joint Authority.
UAJA’s facility is rated for an intake of 9 million gallons per day, said Cory Miller, UAJA executive director. The discharge capacity into Spring Creek is 6 mgd.
When influent reaches 7.2 mgd, it will trigger the need to plan for additional capacity.
The facility’s hydraulic and organic capacities are expected to serve well more than 20 years, said Jim May, Centre Regional Planning Agency director.
The nutrient capacity is a problem, Miller said.
UAJA is adding 3,477 pounds of carbon per day for nitrogen removal. Last year, the sewer authority spent almost $275,000 to meet the nitrogen limit by adding carbon, he said, saying the sewer authority is on track to spend at least that much this year.
UAJA is stealing from the organic capacity to deal with the nutrient capacity, Miller said.
The authority is retrofitting its facility with de-nitrification filters, which will be under construction before the end of the year, Miller said.
Getting nutrient offsets through activities such as adding riparian buffers can also help deal with nitrogen, he said.
Beneficial reuse water also can’t put nitrogen into the stream, he said.
Miller also warned COG about the possibility of the Environmental Protection Agency ratcheting down the amount of nitrogen capacity because Pennsylvania will miss its 60 percent pollutant reduction compliance milestone for 2017.
State College Borough Councilwoman Theresa Lafer asked if developing the beneficial reuse water system was the most efficient way to deal with nutrient discharge.
A combination of beneficial reuse and nutrient offset credits needs to be used, Miller said.
UAJA is working with the CRPA to prepare an Act 537 plan special study to extend a beneficial reuse waterline from the Centre Hills Country Club to Mountain View Country Club and possibly Tussey Mountain in the future. Another regional study is being done to determine how to show beneficial reuse waterlines inside the growth boundary sewer service area.