Water Infrastructure Concerns in the Lehigh Valley
Last Friday, the Morning Call ran a story on the repairs and upgrades to wastewater infrastructure awaiting the Lehigh Valley’s communities. The story touched upon some of the concerns covered on Tempo’s PublicSquare Water Consolidation program, during which Mike Drabenstott, RenewLV Board member, discussed RenewLV’s Regional Water Initiative.
The Morning Call reports that sewer service prices are expected to rise in 2010, partly due to the extensive repairs that the system will have to undergo to meet standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The staggering dollar estimates for improvements to the sewer system in western Lehigh County, which includes about 262 miles of piping and 18,000 customer connections, tell the story of what’s to come.
The Lehigh County Authority, which along with municipalities oversees the network of piping, is embarking on a pair of projects that will cost at least $16 million.
The EPA has ordered the authority, Allentown and a dozen municipalities to eliminate sewage overflows by 2014.
As the documentary Liquid Assets shows, such upgrades are needed in order to ensure the safety of our drinking water, which is at risk for contamination when outdated infrastructure remains in place.