In 1989, the Authority secured one of the very first loans issued by the newly created Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or “PENNVEST.” This loan/grant combination was used to provide sanitary sewer service to the Silverville area of the township. Although this project was small, it was significant because it marked the first public sewers to be installed in Buffalo Township and required the coordination of work through several adjacent municipalities and authorities.
The expansion of sewer service continued slowly until the summer of 1997 when construction of the Authority’s Phase III sewer project began. This project consisted of 36 miles of gravity sewer line, two pumping stations, and a 0.41 MGD wastewater treatment plant. Construction was completed in the fall of 1998 with the total construction cost of $14 million dollars, of which $10.0 million dollars was funded in part with a PENNVEST loan. Construction of the system went smoothly, but required a difficult interceptor to be constructed through the steep and rocky valley formed by the Little Buffalo Creek. Nine different contractors and countless subcontractors were involved in the project.
At that time, the centerpiece of our sewer system was the 0.41 MGD Buffalo Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located 2 ½ miles north of Freeport along the Butler-Freeport Community Rail Trail. Treatment processes included extended aeration using activated sludge, clarification, UV disinfection, and a filter press to dewater sludge. In May 2012, the Authority received a revised operating permit to increase the plant size to 0.89 MGD, which was completed through PENNVEST funding. Since then, two additional pump stations have been added to the system to accommodate the growth of Buffalo and Winfield Townships.