The Township sanitary sewer system is designed to collect and transport wastewater to the City of Bethlehem Wastewater Treatment Plant. A very small area in the eastern end of the Township is connected to Palmer Township's sanitary sewer system for conveyance to the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant. The system serves the Bethlehem Annex, Miller Heights, Butztown, Middletown, Farmersville, William Penn Manor, Prospect Park, Green Pond Crest, Oakland Hills, and Route 191 areas of the Township, which are the main developed areas of the Township. New subdivisions adjacent to areas with public sewers are provided with public sewers installed as part of the subdivision construction. These facilities are then dedicated to the Authority and the Township provides operation and maintenance.
Pump Station 1, located in the southern portion of the Township is equipped with three variable speed 875 gpm pumps in a masonry building with a sewage grinder, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 2, located along Hope Road just east of the Route 33 overpass, is a prefabricated wet well/dry well station equipped with three variable speed pumps, each with a capacity of 1,800 gpm, a sewage grinder, flow meter and a generator/control/ building with emergency standby generator and storage room. It provides service to the eastern portion of the Township and a small area of Palmer Township. It also handles the flow from Pump Station 7.
Pump Station 3, located off Country Club Road, serves a small development in the vicinity of the Northampton Country Club. This station is a wet well submersible pump station equipped with two 35 gpm grinder pumps, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 4, located on the west side of Route 191 south of Route 22, serves the residential areas drained by the Oakland Hills Interceptor, as well as the commercial area along Route 191 south of Route 22 and a portion of the industrial development along Brodhead Road north of Route 22. It also handles the flow from Pump Station 10. The station is a prefabricated wet well/dry well station equipped with two variable speed pumps, each with a capacity of 865 gpm, a sewage grinder, flow meter and a generator/control building with emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 5, located at the intersection of Route 191 and Santee Mill Road, serves the Oakland Hills residential area, including flow from residential areas of the City of Bethlehem adjacent to the Township, and pumps the flow from Pump Station 4. The station is similar to Pump Station 4 and has two variable speed pumps, each with a capacity of 1,350 gpm, sewage grinder, flow meter and generator/control building with emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 6, located along Greenwood Drive between the Devonshire and Green Pond Crest subdivisions, serves the Green Pond Crest area. This station is a wet well submersible pump station, similar to Pump Station 3, equipped with two 40 gpm grinder pumps, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 7, located in the New Orchard Estates subdivision along Esquire Drive, serves a portion of that development as well as the Kings View Subdivision in the eastern portion of the Township. It also serves a number of properties in Palmer Township. This station is a wet well-mounted pump station equipped with two 90 gpm pumps, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 8, located along Bethman Road, serves the Country Club Estates and Southampton Estates subdivisions. This station is a wet well submersible pump station, similar to Pump Station 3, equipped with two 80 gpm grinder pumps, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 9, located along Township Line Road, serves the LVIP IV and V Industrial Park areas. This station is a prefabricated station equipped with two 450 gpm variable speed pumps, a sewage grinder, and a generator/control building with emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 10, located along Route 191 just on the north side of Route 22, serves the developed areas north of Route 22 and east of Route 191, including the Brodhead Manor subdivision. This station is a wet well-mounted pump station in a control building and is equipped with two 100 gpm pumps, and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 11, located along Church Road at Loyal Lane, was completed in the latter half of 2021 and serves existing homes along Church Road, a portion of Country Club Road, a portion of the Traditions of America subdivision, and a proposed business park. The station is a wet-well mounted station in a control building, equipped with two 207 gpm pumps and emergency standby generator.
Pump Station 12, located along Green Pond Road in the Traditions of America subdivision, was put into service in December 2020, and currently serves a portion of tl1at subdivision. It is also designed to handle flow from existing homes on Green Pond Road and a portion of Country Club Road. The station is a wet-well m01mted station in a control building with two 80 gpm pumps and an emergency standby generator.
The Township also has three (3) portable diesel-driven sewage pumps that can be used for emergency bypass situations. All pump stations have emergency bypass connections.
As of the end of 2021 there were 8,898 customer accounts connected to the system utilizing the City of Bethlehem’s wastewater treatment plant (BWWTP), with another 128 connections in the northeast corner and the southeast corner of the Township that flow to the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority's wastewater treatment facility (EAWWTP) via the Palmer Township collection and conveyance system. The system is comprised of 8,688 residential connections, serving an estimated 21,806 Bethlehem Township residence, along with 84 multi-family housing units, 65 publicly owned facilities (municipal, state, county, and schools), 182 commercial properties, and 64 industrial facilities.
As of December 2021, the estimated sewage flow from the Township sewer system to the City of Bethlehem for treatment was approximately 1,895,775 gallons per day. This average daily flow is based on meter readings and estimated flows for 2021. The 2021 average daily flow represented an increase of approximately 100,000 gallons per day (about 5%) over 2020. This flow is based on actual meter readings and estimated flow whenever meters are offline, and includes estimated deductions for unmetered City of Bethlehem customers that flow through the Township's sewage collection and conveyance system.
The average daily flow per connection during 2021 was approximately 213 gallons or 84 gallons per person, per day (GPPPD).
As of December 2021, the Township is using approximately 63% of its City of Bethlehem's wastewater treatment plant allocation of just over 3,000,000 gallons per day. Municipal engineers estimate that the Township has approximately 1,100,000 gallons of wastewater treatment reserve capacity sufficient to provide municipal growth through the year 2030. The BTMA in 2021 began an update of their PADEP municipal wastewater planning (known as an; Official Act 537 Plan). The plan is intended to redefine future service and treatment needs in preparing for the next phase of BWWTP expansion. The plan will carry the Township through the year 2042.
In 2002 the Authority and Township entered into an agreement with Palmer Township Municipal Sewer Authority (Palmer) and Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority (EAJSA) to provide sewer service to an area in the northeast corner of the Township. The Township acquired 33,000 gallons of capacity in the sewer line as well as treatment plant capacity from EAJSA. In 2008 the Township purchased an additional 9,250 gallons per day from the EAJSA increasing the Township's allocation to 42,250 gallons per day.
Currently there are approximately 127 residential connections and 1 public connection that flow to EAJSA's facility for treatment. The average daily flow to EAJSA during 2021 was approximately 26,617 gallons per day based on water consumption records. This represents approximately 63% of the allocated treatment capacity for this area.
The pump stations and metering stations are inspected daily by Physical Plant and Information Services Department employees and the maintenance of the mechanical equipment is performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The Township's PADEP Operators continually clean and inspect the system using special high-pressure jetting equipment, CCTV and LiDAR equipment for pipeline assessment. Technicians maintain and monitor the 12 pumping facilities, and 5 metering locations daily.