The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 12, 2013

Sewer project set to begin

Justin Dennis

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown City Council met briefly Friday, approving two construction firms to begin the first phase of a Roxbury sewer project – a collection system designed to collect stormwater overflow before it reaches the Stonycreek River.

Greenland Construction and D&M Construction will be digging, setting main lines and doing tap-ins for the 8,000 affected residents. Councilman Frank Janakovic said it will be up to individual residents to tap in from their property.

“It’s totally different for each household,” he said. So, tap lengths and the associated costs will vary from home to home.

Janakovic said that through this approval stage, the city is keeping in step with a consent order handed down from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“This isn’t something that we as a council have to decide. It’s basically the city must do this, period,” he said. “If we don’t, we’re looking at severe fines.”

Historically, the area’s sanitary and sewer lines were mixed. Residents were tapping into different lines, causing stormwater runoff to pass into sewage lines and through the Dornick Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plan is expected to reduce the stress on the plant.

“We were treating stormwater, which we don’t need to treat, so it’s an unnecessary cost at the sewage plant,” Janakovic said. “So, if the rainwater is going through there, it really should have another system, or it can go directly into the river.”

The Tribune-Democrat reported in April that the project will be paid for with $10.9 million in PennVEST loans secured at a lower interest rate than would be given in the bond market.

Work is expected to begin in November and will take about a year to complete.

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