ALLENTOWN – A project during which significant upgrades have been made to Allentown’s waste water treatment facilities is nearing completion.
During the Aug. 3 meeting of the mayor and Borough Council, Greg Westfall, a former mayor, asked for an update on the project that has been taking place on Breza Road at the site of Allentown’s waste water treatment facilities.
Mayor Thomas Fritts responded, saying, “The (new) plant is completely operational except for the IFAS (Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge) system. We are in good graces with the (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) administrative consent order and we are hoping the plant will be completed shortly. We are putting ourselves in a much better situation for the future.”
On Oct. 22, 2019, after several years of discussion and planning, Borough Council members took a significant step toward upgrading the municipality’s infrastructure when they awarded a $3.95 million contract to Pact Two LLC, Ringoes, for the construction of new waste water treatment facilities.
At the time, Fritts, who was the council president while Westfall was the mayor, called the governing body’s action to award the construction contract to Pact Two a “monumental” achievement for the borough.
The council’s vote set in motion the construction of upgrades to Allentown’s failing waste water treatment plant on Breza Road. The improvements were labeled a package plant.
Borough Engineer Carmela Roberts, whose firm, Roberts Engineering Group, Hamilton, designed the upgrades, said that more specifically, new components related to the treatment process would be installed and existing components related to the treatment process would be upgraded at the plant. Additions to the building were also made.
Roberts explained that after waste water that enters the upgraded plant has been treated, the resulting clean water will be discharged into Doctors Creek.
In late 2019, Roberts estimated the infrastructure project would be completed in mid-2021.
“It’s been a decade trying to get this done,” Fritts said of the project when the contract was awarded in October 2019. ” … We were hit with DEP fines. It was a battle. … With Roberts Engineering Group, we put together a package plant. We have refined the project and we got it under $4 million. To me, this was monumental. It is a DEP-approved plan.”
Borough Council members authorized the issuance of bonds or notes in the amount of $4.6 million to finance the new waste water treatment infrastructure. Municipal officials said the project is being funded through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank.