The Morrisville Municipal Authority is in the planning process for an entirely new wastewater treatment plant, citing insufficiencies and frequent costly repairs as reasons to eventually abandon the current plant.
Built in 1956, the Morrisville Sewer Plant is over 60 years old and has required an average of almost one million dollars worth of repairs and improvements every year since 2008.
The new plant is estimated to cost either $80 million or $100 million, depending on which plan is used.
The less expensive plan would involve rebuilding over the current plant’s location but would use more outdated technology. The more expensive plan involves moving the location of the plant to a different spot along the Delaware River.
Along with engineering an economic consultants, Executive Director of the Municipal Authority John Warenda believes the best way to proceed is with the $100 million plan.
“The most sensible thing to do is to build a new facility. By the time you’re done, it’s not going to cost you that much more,” Warenda said. “In the long run, it saves you money because you can’t keep putting band-aids on amputation wounds.”
Other than the steeper price tag, the $100 million plan involves several advantages. The new location would allow more space for future upgrades and adjustments. More energy efficient methods would be available, along with “green energy” technology. There is also some grant funding only available if the location is changed.
State Representative Perry Warren recently toured the Morrisville Wastewater Treatment Plant. On his Twitter, @RepPerryWarren, Warren called the plant “an example of the role that infrastructure plays in a civilized society.”
Warren recognizes the need for upgrading the treatment plant and used the experience to better understand what is needed to bring it into the 21st century.
The current plant uses a process called “UNOX” and was once state of the art, but is incredibly energy demanding. UNOX has also become less efficient with synthetic materials becoming more prominent in disposable diapers, personal hygiene, and cleaning products.
Anyone interested in additional information is encouraged to attend the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Directors at 7:30 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month.