Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority Launches $155 Million Capital Improvement Campaign to Upgrade Aging Sewer System
From a press release
The Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority (BCWSA) Thursday launched its capital improvement campaign that will invest $155 million to make significant upgrades and repairs across its aging sewer system. The initial investment is part of an ongoing infrastructure improvement initiative that BCWSA will continue to fund over the next several years.
The authority recently sold bonds to fund the first phase of the campaign, which includes $60 million for major upgrades to the Neshaminy Interceptor, a large diameter pipe that carries wastewater from Lower Bucks County to a treatment plant in Philadelphia. The project will bypass and replace the 12 miles of aging pipe infrastructure to mitigate inflow and infiltration for both economic and environmental improvements.
“The long-term reliability and vitality of BCWSA services is entirely dependent on the Authority’s ability to repair, replace and expand the systems’ infrastructure,” said Benjamin Jones, BCWSA’s CEO. “This is something the authority has done for the last 60 years and plans to continue for at least the next 60 years.”
Other projects that will be funded under the first phase include:
|$27,500,000||Telescopic Inspection of Sewer Mains||Camera inspections of approximately 800 miles of sewer mains and undertake necessary repairs per the consent decree with the US Dept. of Justice|
|$20,000,000||Green Street Upgrade||Support the construction of the Doylestown Township sewer system, expanding the wastewater treatment plant|
|$15,000,000||Lambertville Upgrade||Expanding the Lambertville Wastewater treatment plant|
|$15,000,000||Quakertown Plant Upgrade||Expanding the Quakertown Wastewater Treatment plant will provide for the anticipated growth of the area and will provide for recover of tapping fees due to future development.|
|$15,000,000||CNB Expansion||Expansion of the wastewater treatment plant to accommodate wet weather and peak flows|
|$2,000,000||Old Dublin Pumps||Replace the pumps at the Upper Dublin Wastewater Treatment plant that have outlasted their useful lives.|
“We heard from our customers and the communities we serve about the importance of maintaining the authority as a public utility. They affirmed our confidence that BCWSA is well equipped to successfully complete a multi-year, multi-million-dollar infrastructure improvement campaign,” said Jones. “Our investments will go beyond just replacing aging pipes and equipment but improve capacities for those we serve, allow for regional growth and create a sustainable future.”
Payment of the first bond issue will raise BCWSA retail sewer customers’ rates by 10 percent over the next three years. The rate increase to wholesale customers overall will be about 16 percent. Customers will see the new rates reflected on their bills starting this month.
“Water and sewer service is not something most think about except when it’s time to pay the bills,” said Jones. “The infrastructure required to reliably deliver clean water and drain and treat wastewater can be taken for granted – until it doesn’t work. That is why we must make ongoing investments and ensure that we address issues before they occur.”
The initial $155 million investment is part of a $197.6 million bond series recently approved by the BCWSA Board of Directors. A portion of the total proceeds are dedicated to refund the Authority’s existing bonds and sewer debt. Additionally, BCWSA anticipates issuing at least two additional series of bonds within the next five years to finance additional infrastructure improvements.
After a public outcry, the Authority rejected a proposal to sell itself to Aqua PA.
The Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority (BCWSA) – is an independent, non-profit agency formed in 1962 under the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Act. It is one of the largest water and sewer authorities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania providing water and sewer services to more than 100,000 households, business accounts, and some 525,000 people in the southeastern Pennsylvania region.