Wastewater systems to consolidate

By LISA CUTRONI

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Consolidation of municipal infrastructure is coming to pass at Woodloch Pines and Woodloch Springs.

Aqua America, a nationwide wastewater services company based in Reading, PA, is now owner of both wastewater treatment plants at Woodloch Pines, a resort, and Woodloch Springs, a golf course and community, both located in Lackawaxen Township. Aqua America plans to consolidate the two plants into one, explained Doug Berg, engineer for the project, at the September 21 township supervisors’ meeting.

Aqua America is preparing the 537 plan—a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) act requiring companies to detail present and future sewage disposal issues before obtaining the township’s go-ahead with the consolidation. Berg said preparing the plan would take three to four months, after which the DEP has to review it. If approved, laying the new sewage lines between the two facilities would take between one and two years.

Woodloch owner and CEO John Kiesendahl had owned the Woodloch Pines plant on Lake Teedyuskung for 30 years and the plant at Woodloch Springs for 15 years. With the purchase of the Woodloch Springs plant in 2003, Aqua America agreed it would consolidate the two facilities and close the plant at Woodloch Pines within three years, Kiesendahl said.

The reason for the consolidation, Kiesendahl said, is that the Woodloch Pines plant is located in the middle of the resort, occupying a prime real estate area. Also, the treated effluent from the plant is going into the lake. By relocating the water processing to the Woodloch Springs plant, the effluent will be running first into the Little Teedyuskung Creek and then into the Lackawaxen River, which according to Kiesendahl, would be more environmentally sound.

When the consolidation is made, the Woodloch Pines plant will be taken down, but the underground equalization tank will act as the pumping station to bring wastewater from the resort to the Wooodloch Springs plant, where a new equalization tank will be built.

An added benefit to the consolidation is that Woodloch Springs uses its treated wastewater, diluted with pond water, to spray-irrigate its 18-hole golf course, reducing the amount of ground water used to maintain the golf course.

Aqua America, Inc. is the nation’s largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utility, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, New York and South Carolina.