Brush Creek Plant Upgrade

image_noisy environmentNoisy pump to transfer wastewater flow

Updated January 22, 2019:The proposed sanitary sewer connection and temporary bypass operation for the Brush Creek Treatment Plant project has been pushed back one week from the original scheduled date of the week of January 21, 2019.  Weather permitting, the work will be performed the week of January 28, 2019.  The 24-hour continuous pumping operation will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of said week.  
(Please note: This bypass project is WEATHER PERMITTING.) 

Residents near the Brush Creek wastewater treatment plant are likely to hear the sound of a large diesel pump which will run continuously for 48 hours during the week of January 21.  That temporary pump station will be used to divert the flow of wastewater from its current pipeline long enough to allow a permanent connection to the plant’s new inflow station to be built.  The temporary pump platform, along with a backup unit, will be positioned on the east side of Powell Road.  It will be staffed and illuminated throughout its operation.  Neither sewer service or traffic along Powell will be affected, but the northern end of the Graham Park Trail will be closed for the protection of workers and visitors.

Needs Assessment


The Brush Creek Water Pollution Control Facility (BWPCF) currently treats an average day flow of approximately 3.4 mgd from Cranberry Township, Marshall Township, Pine Township, and Bradford Woods Borough in Allegheny County and a small part of New Sewickley Township in Beaver County. The Brush Creek facility operates under NPDES Permit No. PA 0024571 and has a hydraulic capacity 4.5 mgd and an organic capacity of 14,000 lbs/day. The facility has a rated peak flow of 23 mgd which includes an 11.75 mgd secondary treatment by-pass (or blending). In 2011 the facility experienced a hydraulic overload and the Township entered into a Corrective Action Plan with PA DEP.

Expansion of the facility is necessary to address the CAP and hydraulic overload condition and plant capacity for future growth. Additionally, the several regulatory changes have occurred which will, in effect; reduce the capacity of the current facility.

These include the elimination of the capability to blend and mass based permit limits. To that end, a Basis of Design was prepared for inclusion into an Act 537 Update Revision as required by the CAP. The purpose of the Act 537 Update Revision is to evaluate several alternatives for upgrades required to the Brush Creek Water Pollution Control Facility (BCWPCF).

The Basis of Design was completed in May of 2013 and is included in Exhibit 1. Analysis included in the Basis of Design, along with the Township’s current approved 537 Plan and Comprehensive plan were used to establish capacity needs. The Upgrade and Expansion Project will increase the hydraulic and organic capacity to 8.73 mgd and 19,220 lbs/d BOD5 as well as eliminate the need for blending and meet preliminary mass based limits.
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We've known since the last retooling of Cranberry's Brush Creek sewage treatment plant in 1999 that another upgrade would eventually be required to serve a growing population. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection recently issued new requirements affecting the plant’s flow rates and associated treatment methods during peak weather events. 

In addition, tighter limits on the release of nutrients – limits which are likely to grow even more restrictive, must also be satisfied for the plant to secure its operating permits. The alternatives – each of which come with an assortment of challenges – range from $50 million for a single-phase approach, to $65 million for a two-phase approach.will be financed by a combination of higher rates for sewer system customers and increased tap-in fees.

A step-by-step process leading to the upgrade is now underway. Construction was accelerated by a combination of new environmental requirements and a need for increased capacity. Work is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed by early 2016, according to the project engineer's timeline. Preliminary engineering, as well as work to secure state and federal operating permits, is in progress, with final engineering work slated to begin by early next year More information on the Brush Creek Plant 

January 30, 2014 Progress Report,  to the Board of Supervisors
January 30, 2014 Progress Report,  to the Board of Supervisors