Wastewater Collection and Pretreatment
Cranberry Township’s wastewater collection system and Brush Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant are designed to transport and treat domestic wastewater, or as it is commonly called, sewage.
This is the water that flows down the drain from sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and clothes’ washer in your home or from commercial establishments.
Treatment of organic wastes is achieved using natural types of bacteria that are specialized for the job. The health of this complex ecosystem is vitally important to the success of our wastewater plant. Pollutants can cause an imbalance or collapse of these unique bacteria resulting in unsanitary wastewater being conveyed to our local Brush Creek waterway. Untreated wastewater in our streams can cause algae blooms, fish kills, and macroinvertebrate disturbance.
In order to combat pollution, Cranberry Township’s Industrial Pretreatment Program proactively protects the wastewater through educational outreach, wastewater treatment requirements, and discharge permits.
Our goals are to:
- Prevent the introduction of pollutants that will interfere with the operation of the Brush Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Meet the needs of our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit in order to prevent the pass-through of pollutants to protect Brush Creek and its downstream waterways
- Improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim sludge
- Protect the health and safety of the public, as well as Cranberry Township wastewater treatment employees.
Cranberry Township is currently mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to operate a pretreatment program. Along with federal categorical pretreatment regulations the Township enforces local pollutant limits and general prohibitions. Our local limits are derived from our unique wastewater makeup and set at levels that protect our plant. They factor in the removal rate of our wastewater plant.
Chapter 19 of our Municipal Code specifies criteria through which certain industries are asked to complete wastewater surveys to evaluate their processes and to determine if they have the potential to negatively impact our collection and treatment system.
A Discharge Permit is issued to any Industrial user that meets the significant industrial user criteria or that falls under our Fat, Oil, and Grease Program specifications. The permit contains limitations on pollutant discharge, as well as requirements on when, where, how, and how often the industry must monitor its discharge to show compliance with the limits.
To meet the limits, industries must often “pre-treat” their wastewater prior to discharge into the collection system.
The Township oversees industrial users by performing inspections, wastewater collection and analysis, and by working with industries to improve their pretreatment techniques. By using these proactive measures, Cranberry Township is contributing to a healthy and stable environment.