The Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority (EAJSA or Authority) provides wastewater conveyance and treatment for its member communities which surround the City of Easton (City). The EAJSA member communities are: the City, the Borough of West Easton, the Township of Forks, the Township of Palmer, the Borough of Tatamy and the Borough of Wilson. The EAJSA also treats wastewater from the following non-member municipalities: Townships of Williams, Lower Nazareth and Bethlehem, the Borough of Glendon, and Stockertown. Each of the member and non-member municipalities owns and operates its own collection system. The EAJSA is responsible for the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) operations, capital projects, repairs and permitting as well as operations, capital projects and repairs associated with key conveyance facilities under a long-term contract (99 Years) with the City which is a part of an intermunicipal agreement between all member parties. As part of this long-term contract, the City provides the staff and management personnel required to operate the EAJSA’s WWTP and conveyance facilities. The staff are City employees as well as the management team. Management of the City’s wastewater collection system is handled by City staff. SC Engineers, Inc. is the EAJSA’s Consulting Engineer.
In regard to the member/non-member relationships for sewer service, the following details must be noted. First, the current sewer service area in Lower Nazareth Township is considered a franchise area with Palmer Township. All existing sewers are owned and operated by Palmer Township. Williams Township has one sewer service area which is considered a franchise area with the City. Most of the sewers in this franchise area with the City have existed since the 1970s and are private. Williams Township also has a second, separate sewer service area which is Township owned and operated and connects to one of the WWTP’s influent force mains. The Borough of Glendon’s sewer service area is also considered a franchise area with the City.
The EAJSA WWTP is located off South Delaware Drive (Rt. 611) in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and discharges treated effluent to the Delaware River. The plant currently serves the ten municipalities listed previously which contribute domestic, commercial and industrial flows. The WWTP was issued a new NPDES Permit (No. PA0027235) by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in 2012. This permit has an effective date of May 1, 2012 and an expiration date of April 30, 2017 and is the control document under which the plant operates.
The WWTP, which is permitted for a wastewater flow of 10.0 mgd and an average influent organic loading of 20,000 pounds of BOD5 per day, employs physical and biological processes to achieve the required treatment level. The WWTP effluent must meet the following quality limits:
|CBOD5||25 mg/l (30-day average)|
|Total Suspended Solids||30 mg/l (30-day average)|
|Ammonia (as N)||20 mg/l (30-day average)|
|Fecal Coliform||200 col/100 ml (30-day geometric mean)|
|pH||6.0 to 9.0 std. units (range)|
|Total Residual Chlorine (TRC)||0.84 mg/l (30-day average)|
The WWTP must also monitor its effluent flow on a daily basis. The plant’s treatment process consists of grit removal and screening, primary clarification, secondary biological treatment through an oxidation ditch process, secondary clarification, disinfection using sodium hypochlorite and dechlorination using sodium bisulfite. Sludge is handled through either two stage anaerobic digestion or three unit aerobic digestion. Primary sludge is pumped directly to the digesters. Secondary (or waste activated) sludge is thickened prior to digestion. All digested sludge is dewatered by centrifuges. The dewatered sludge is then land applied or landfilled.