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Legal action regarding sewage violations

December 24, 2013

The Blooming Grove Township Supervisors said they will take court action in connection with ongoing sewage violations at the Village Plaza strip mall on State Route 739.
“We are starting legal procedures now,” chairman Randy Schmalzle said at the December board meeting.

The property owners of the plaza, in addition to their lawyers, have not responded to numerous township inquires about work needed to be done on sewage sand mounds that have had numerous discharges, Schmalzle said. “This is something that has gone on long enough and has to stop,” he said.

The plaza consists of a supermarket, dollar store and liquor store, among other businesses. Schmalzle said he didn’t know offhand who the owner/owners are, but they could face fines of up to $350 per day. As of Monday afternoon, December 9, no complaint had been filed with the district magistrate.

The township’s sewage enforcement officer recently visited the plaza to discover numerous areas of surface discharge seeping from the two sand mounds that handle sewage discharge, Schmalzle said. The septic mounds are pumped out every other week, but that is not sufficient, according to the supervisors.

At the October meeting, Sarah Bue-Morris of Bue-Morris Associates Inc., an engineering firm in South Sterling, told the supervisors of a sewage upgrade project at the site, but asked for additional time to finalize the plans. The engineer said the problem stems from the septic fields getting clogged by flour and grease from businesses in the plaza.

In order to fix the problem, the wastewater must be treated before being released to the sand mounds; that would require new engineering plans and approval by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Bue-Morris told the supervisors.
But the supervisors said they have not received any update since the October meeting, despite several inquiries made by their solicitor to the property owners and their lawyers.