New $30 Million Water Treatment Facility Under Construction in Bloomsburg
The largest investment made by United Water since the company began operating in Pennsylvania involves construction of a new water treatment facility in Bloomsburg that will serve Columbia County customers. The innovative technology facility is estimated to cost $30 million and is being built above the floodplain across from the existing water plant. Pressurized microfiber membrane filtration units will be used to process water at a higher rate than the existing plant, assuring the most efficient processing and highest quality of water for these customers, which include Autoneum and Bloomsburg University.
Fishing Creek is the source of supply for the existing plant and will continue to be used by the new facility because of its long-term reliability. Customers benefiting from the historic investment include those in the Town of Bloomsburg and portions of the following townships: Hemlock, Montour, Scott, South Center.
"Building a new water treatment facility on higher ground, above the floodplain, will enable our water treatment professionals to maintain reliable water service to our customers during heavy rainfall events," according to Nancy Trushell, Director of Engineering. Heavy flooding in 2006 and 2011 damaged the region and forced the temporary shut-down of the existing plant. Nancy is pictured below with an artist's rendition of the new complex.
Local, state and federal government officials participated in the groundbreaking, as pictured below. They included State Senator John Gordner, State Representative Dave Millard, Columbia County Commissioners Chris Young, Dave Kovach and Ridgway, Bloomsburg Mayor Sandy Davis and a representative from the office of US Representative Lou Barletta.
John Hollenbach, Vice President of United Water's Mid-Atlantic Division, thanked them for their support of the project and permit application process. He also expressed the intent of United Water and parent company SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT to provide the most efficient water service possible through the use of innovative water treatment technology.
CDM Smith is the design-build contractor. The project is expected to take 16 to 20 months to complete.
United Water Participates in Energy Fair
Presentations related to using water wisely were provided by United Water Pennsylvania at an energy fair held in Harrisburg during October. Customer Service Manager Judy McCoy Jordan, pictured at right, and Public Affairs Manager Bob Manbeck, staffed the company display and shared tips on how to use water wisely and prevent contamination threats. Joining them at the fair were, from left, Cheryl Walker Davis, Director of the Public Utility Commission Bureau of Special Assistants, Morgan Davis, forum moderator and Tanya McCloskey, Acting Consumer Advocate.
Company Officials Meet With Governor
United Water Pennsylvania was invited to a recent Team Pennsylvania Foundation event with Governor Tom Corbett. Mid Atlantic Region Vice President John Hollenbach, at right, and United Water Pennsylvania Public Affairs Manager Bob Manbeck, at left, discussed private public partnerships with the governor. The company's environmental services business contracts with municipalities interested in such partnerships. Benefits include technological innovations resulting in enhanced operational efficiencies and job creation.
Photo courtesy of Team Pennsylvania Foundation
Improving the Quality of Life, Following Unprecented Flooding in Columbia County
United Water Pennsylvania was featured in CATALYST magazine published by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. Click here to view flood-recovery article that profiles how United Water assisted with flood relief.
United Water Foundation Contributes $10,000 to County Conservation District for Land Preservation
The Columbia County Conservation District is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the United Water Foundation that will assist with the purchase of additional land for the purpose of expanding Kocher Park in Scott Township. The expansion will provide an additional 51 acres of open space along Fishing Creek that will enhance ecological, recreational and stream access to the public. It will also protect the environment and provide for access to a variety of habitats.
"We are appreciative for the support provided to the Kocher Park Land Acquisition Fund by the United Water Foundation," said Maryruth Wagner, Columbia County Conservation District Manager. "This land acquisition supports the district's mission for sustainable use of our shared natural resources in order to assure the best quality of life for future generations throughout the county."
According to Wagner, the grant from the United Water Foundation helped the group meet stipulations associated with a grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. She said the park expansion will increase access to Fishing Creek by nearly 4,300 feet and add public access to approximately 3,000 feet of Stony Brook, an exceptional value stream. The district plans to close on the properly early this year.
Fishing Creek is United Water Pennsylvania's primary source of water supply for its customers in Bloomsburg and surrounding communities. The company will build a new water treatment facility across from the current plant complex at an estimated cost of $20 million. Construction is planned for late 2014 after permits are secured and design plans are approved by state and local officials.
"it is pleasing to know that the park expansion will provide for additional recreational opportunities for Columbia County residents," said John Hollenbach, Vice President and General Manager of United Water Pennsylvania. "We are appreciative to the Conservation District for emphasizing the sustainable use of shared natural resources."
The United Water Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that provides contributions to qualifying nonprofit entities that meet established criteria relating to educational, environmental and health and humanities purposes. The foundation's primary mission is to encourage innovative programs in these areas and improve the quality of life in the communities served by the company.