Monday, August 25, 2008

THE LAWSON FILE: GIANT OPEN TOILET IN NEIGHBORHOOD IS COUNTY'S ANSWER TO PROBLEM OF POLLUTED STREAMS


Twenty-six feet high, 126 feet in diameter, open top tank full of crap and it will not stink. That what Bucks County officials are telling the perhaps soon to be neighbors of a two million gallon surge tank in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

If you believe that one, you'll believe anything.

Did I mention that just last week those same officials told area residents to check around for standing water because of West Nile?

All this is the result of federal laws and regulations concerning improving the health of streams, something its hard to argue with. I mean something needs to be done to clean up streams inundated with storm runoff which carry the pollutants of farming, suburban living, and business into area streams and rivers.

It has to do with what environmental regulators call the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for a body of water designated as “impaired” by too much pollution. Virtually all of the creeks and their tributaries in Central and Lower Bucks County and Eastern Montgomery County are considered “impaired” — the watersheds of the Neshaminy, the Pennypack, the Wissahickon and much of the Perkiomen, with the exception of the East Branch of the Perkiomen in Upper Bucks. In general, the water in the upper, less densely populated areas of the two counties is significantly less polluted.

However, there are other options besides a giant open toilet in an otherwise quiet little neighborhood.

For example, there is the obvious...underground collection basins.

Or how about upgrading sewage treatment plants to better prevent high levels of substances such as phosphorous from contaminating creeks.

Or what about giving incentives Program to farmers to create buffer strips to protect from agricultural runoff and to provide rental payments for crop land that is set aside.

Here's an idea, get homeowners and business to stop polluting.

There are lots of ideas out there. Many have been tried and have worked.

I'm sure if Bucks County officials asked, residents would be more than happy to work with them to find an alternative.

Open toilets in residential are not the way to go.

The following is from the Bucks County (Pennsylvania) Courier Times.

Sewage tank sought for Andalusia
By JAMES MCGINNIS

The Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority could soon build a 2 million gallon, open-top surge tank in the Andalusia section of Bensalem.

Proposed for construction near the corner of Tennis Avenue and State Road by the Delaware River, the tank would help control sewage flows during rain storms and might only operate a few times a year, according to the authority.

Federal and state laws mandate that sewage systems take action to reduce the amount of rain water that seeps into their pipes - either through illegal connections or cracked pipes.

“The Department of Environmental Protection is making us all reduce our flows,” said Patrick Cleary, spokesman for the Bucks Authority. “We have a very active program of inspection and infiltration. This is just one more approval as we try to cut back on wastewater flows.”

The tank would be about 26 feet high and 112 feet in diameter, according to plans submitted with the township. Along with some pumps, the construction area would take up about 1.2 acres of woodlands. Wetlands and a stream also border the property.

The land was previously owned by the Andalusia Foundation, a non-profit started by the Biddle Family to preserve the historic Andalusia Estate. The Andalusia Mansion, a national landmark, is located about a half-mile north on State Road.

Much closer to the proposed surge tank and not very happy about it, Alex Szymanski said he plans to lead a neighborhood protest against the project.

“They're saying it's going to be an open top tank. What's that going to smell like?” Szymanski asked. “This is going to be right next to my home. I don't want it to smell like sewage.”

The Bucks Authority said it did not believe residents would smell sewage in the tank because it would largely contain stormwater. “This tank will be in operation during heavy rain events,” said Cleary. “Most of what's in it is going to be rain.”

1 comment:

Julia said...

Ew, giant toilet?

I'm just wondering if something like that would do a lot of damage to the environment in the area, not to mention stink up the place.