Potters Mills sewer project nets $750,000 grant

About seven years ago, Potter Township identified that some of the sewer systems in the Potters Mills area were malfunctioning. Now, they finally have the funding to fix the problems.

The township has been awarded a $750,000 grant to help fund the construction of a public sewer system in Potters Mills.

“It’s really a good feeling because it is certainly a project that is needed to protect the environment,” said Dick Decker, chairman of Potter Township Supervisors. “It’s located there along ... a high-quality trout stream, and there’s contamination getting to the stream. All the residents are on private wells so there’s potential for contamination of those wells, and so it makes our board ... very happy that we’re able to proceed and correct this issue for our citizens.”

The funding comes through the state Community Development Block Grant program, which Centre County applied for on the township’s behalf.

“Because of this grant funding, after years of ongoing problems and water contamination, the residents of Potters Mills will finally be able to construct the public sewer system and treatment plant that they desperately need and deserve,” state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, said in a press release.

With the grant funding, the township won’t have to charge residents a connection fee, Decker said.

It’ll get the monthly operating fee down to an acceptable amount for low- to moderate-income households, he said, of which more than 50 percent in the sewer service area are.

The final specifications and construction drawings need to be completed before the project can be put out to bid, he said.

Decker said he’s not sure if the project could be completed next year, but crews should be able to get a “good start” on it and finish it early in 2019.

The township plans to install new septic tanks to pretreat wastewater before it’s pumped via pressure sewer system to a treatment plant, Kerry Tyson, senior project manager at Nittany Engineering-A Division of Century Engineering, said in September.

The plant will have a capacity of 14,000 gallons per day.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz