The experts weigh in...

fishLarry Lloyd, a Senior Ecologist with the Berks County Conservancy, feels that “the Borough is making a strong commitment to the water quality of the Sacony Creek and the Maiden Creek by making the improvements and upgrades at the Wastewater Treatment Plant,” and he appreciates the Borough’s proactive approach. He believes that “the best and cheapest way to deal with compliance with DEP for Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements is through proactive actions to comply, as opposed to resisting and reacting to mandates.”

Because the Sacony Creek is rated as a Trout Stocking Fishery, Mr. Lloyd thinks that “by making these improvements, the Borough of Kutztown will be discharging the cleanest possible water into the Sacony Creek, and helping to ensure good quality water for good quality fishing.”

In addition, Mr. Lloyd strongly believes that water quality is everyone’s responsibility. He states that “just as the Borough of Kutztown works with farmers upstream of the Borough’s drinking water supply to install the best management practices on their farms to ensure the best possible drinking water for the Borough residents, so too, communities, homes and businesses downstream of the Kutztown Wastewater Treatment Plant rely on the Borough to make the improvements to their Treatment Plant, so that their drinking water downstream from Kutztown is the best it can be.”

Deborah Balsavage, Vice President of the Maiden Creek Watershed Association, explains that “all wastewater treatment plants have become subject to increasingly tighter limits for the quality of water that they discharge,” and that “exceeding these limits can impact operating costs and result in significant fines.” Additionally, by taking a proactive approach, Ms. Balsavage believes that the Borough will realize many benefits, including:

• UV Disinfection safeguards human health by eliminating the need to transport, store and handle chlorine, a hazardous and potentially deadly chemical. It is also effective in deactivating harmful organisms in treated wastewater that could cause diseases. There are no residual effects that are harmful to humans or aquatic life.

• Phosphorous removal will prevent excessive release of phosphorus to the Sacony Creek, which can encourage overgrowth of weeds and algae, creating an unsuitable habitat for aquatic life.

• During heavy rain events, flood protection enables more adequate treatment, and it prevents the release of solids from the treatment facility into the Sacony Creek.

• An Emergency Generator is essential to guarantee the continued operation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant during power outages, ensuring that all water discharged from the plant has been adequately treated for harmful contaminants before being discharged into the Sacony Creek.