The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has issued a sewer connection ban for the area served by the Mifflinburg sewer system until further notice. In plain words this means- NO new or increased connections will be permitted until PA DEP says so.
This ban was the result of several sanitary sewer overflow violations which occurred and were reported to PA DEP by the Borough over the past year. PA DEP is requiring that the Borough prepare a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) showing how we intend to eliminate the inflow and infiltration which is causing the system to experience these violations. Once the CAP is approved and once the Borough is able to show reductions in these extraneous flows, then PA DEP will decide if they will permit any new connections to the system.
What does inflow and infiltration mean? This means that storm water (ie. rainfall and groundwater) is making its way in to the sewer system. These flows are overwhelming the Borough’s sewer system and treatment plant. This has been a problem for many years and the Borough has been working to find and eliminate these ‘problem’ connections, but it is difficult because they are either located underground, or on someone’s private property. Although we have made significant improvements and repairs over the years, we still haven’t eliminated the problem.
Over the coming months, you will see Borough Crews out in the system doing further investigation; either smoke testing, using a sewer camera, or placing flow meters in manholes. We may even complete some individual property inspections depending on what we find.
But we need your help too! How can you help us? Please check out your own property to ensure that you do not have any ‘illegal’ connections. Where does your sump pump drain go? How about your roof or floor drains? If you find that the answer is that they drain to your sewer lateral, please eliminate those connections and notify the office that you have done so. We can report that as a fix to PA DEP and it may help us get the connection ban lifted. Voluntary elimination of these connections can also minimize the need for costly investigative and repair efforts which could ultimately impact your sewer bill! Please contact the Borough office if you have any questions.
We appreciate your help!