Lower Pottsgrove Authority Eases Life for Developers

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Life got easier Monday (Oct. 12, 2020) for real estate developers now planning or anticipating future projects within Lower Pottsgrove. That’s because the Township Authority board, which governs sewer-related operations, improvements, and growth, has agreed to apply a single gallons-per-day average sewer usage figure to both residential and commercial projects.

Lower Pottsgrove Authority Eases Life for Developers

For years, according to township engineering representative Chad Camburn of Bursich Associates, Lower Pottsgrove has used 200 gallons as its average daily usage for the purchase of residential equivalent dwelling units, or EDUs, needed by developers for home sewers at their proposed projects; and 300 gallons as the average usage for commercial EDUs, such as those needed for a store or restaurant.

During the authority’s Monday night virtual meeting, the average usage number for both should be 280 gallons “per EDU across the board,” Camburn suggested.

The cost of an EDU consists of two components, Camburn explained after the meeting. Developers pay a roughly $2,900 fee for tapping, or connecting a property to the sewer system; and another $3,000 as a contribution to the township’s continuing effort to limit storm water infiltration and in-flows to the sewer system. Extra storm water unnecessarily raises sewage treatment and its costs.

The number of EDUs needed in any project can vary depending upon estimates of what actual usage will be. Using the new gallons-per-day figure, a proposed business that is expected to generate more than 800 gallons per day likely will be required to purchase three EDUs.

The actual cost of treatment is paid quarterly in sewage bills sent to property owners themselves.

Camburn and a Bursich colleague explained how the number was calculated, and board members agreed. The new EDU figure clears up “a heck of a lot of confusion” for developers in general, and particularly those who contemplate mixed-use projects that involve both home and business sites, Camburn said.

Apparently Lower Pottsgrove was one of few municipalities to rely on two figures, a practice that dates back many years, authority administrator and township Manager Ed Wagner added.

The average gallons-per-day change must be approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection before it becomes effective. That could take a couple of months, Camburn said, as it staffers plow through a backlog of paperwork.

File photos by The Post