Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater in the Borough of Myerstown is treated at the Myerstown Borough Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Myerstown Borough Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Myerstown Borough Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) is a regional facility owned and operated by the Borough and designed to serve the Borough of Myerstown, the Borough of Richland, and portions of Jackson Township and Millcreek Township.  The facility was originally constructed in 1963.  It was expanded in 1978 to increase the plant's capacity from 500,000 to 1.4 million gallons per day and to include flow from three other municipalities.  It was then upgraded and expanded in 2009 to meet new discharge regulations.

Treatment processes at the upgraded and expanded plant include a headworks consisting of grinding, fine screening, and grit removal.  Following the headworks, flow is pumped from the wet well to an ORBAL Oxidation Ditch, where BOD, Total Suspended Solids, and biological nutrient removal occurs.  Phosphorus is removed biologically and chemically.  The oxidation ditch is followed by final clarification.  The clarified effluent is disinfected by ultraviolet light.  After UV treatment there is post aeration and flow measurement.  The WWTF currently is permitted for a hydraulic capacity of 2.92 MGD.  The organic capacity of the facility is 8.062 lbs BOD5/day.

Waste activated sludge is removed from the clarifiers and gravity thickened prior to aerobic digestion in one of two parallel aerobic digesters.  The digested sludge is dewatered by centrifuge, and the resultant cake hauled to a landfill.  The WWTF also has 30,000 square feet of reed beds, to which liquid sludge can be applied.  Supernatant from the digesters and centrate from the centrifuge can be recycled to the existing reed beds or pumped to the head of the plant. 

WWTF effluent is discharged into the Tulpehocken Creek. 

Laboratory Testing
Laboratory tests are performed routinely by plant operators in order to control treatment processes and determine plant operating efficiency.  Test results are recorded in a weekly and monthly log, one copy of which is forwarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Sludge Disposal
Currently, sludge is digested in two aerobic digesters and dewatered by a centrifuge.  The sludge is then disposed of at the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority Landfill.  In 1990, construction of sludge drying beds planted with phragmite reeds was completed.  These beds were designed to process all of the WWTF's digested sludge.  Sludge is applied to this system as necessary.

Operation and maintenance activities for the treatment plant and collection system are performed by the treatment plant operators and the Borough's public works crew.  If a new property connection is made, a plumbing inspector inspects the new installation. 

Plant operators routinely perform the laboratory analyses required for process control and discharge permit reporting purposes.  Results of the analyses are recorded on a weekly and monthly log.  One copy is forwarded to the appropriate State and Federal agencies required by the facilities NPDES discharge permit.

The mechanical equipment in the treatment facility is observed daily and lubricated in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.  Maintenance performed is logged into the plant's computerized record system.  Collection system maintenance consists of flushing in the vicinity of all dead end manholes, root growth control with sewer rodding equipment, and general repairs to the system.

Industrial Waste Monitoring
The Borough maintains a program of industrial waste monitoring.  This program consists of routinely collecting and analyzing samples from the major industries in Myerstown and Jackson Township.  The Borough developed a Pretreatment Program in 1984.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Borough's Pretreatment Program in 1985. 

Presently, there are five major industries with some type of pretreatment facility.  The industries are:

  1. Bayer HealthCare Site #1
  2. Bayer HealthCare Site #2
  3. CMI-Tech Cast, Inc. 
  4. Elk/GAF Corporation
  5. Trigon Plastics
These five industries all have effluent monitoring stations on their premises for the Borough's use.  Flow, pH, and temperature monitoring is provided in the monitoring stations.  Each monitoring station is inspected daily.  Sampling is performed monthly on each of the five major industries.  The monthly samples are analyzed by a laboratory for BOD, TSS, TDS, P and NH3-N on a monthly basis and for local limit parameters at least three times a year.  Presently, these five industries have some type of pretreatment facilities.  These facilities ensure the biodegradability of the waste by providing pH neutralization and solids precipitation.  Each industry has been issued a permit to discharge by the Borough.