A Leader in Wastewater Managment

The University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) is located in State College, Pennsylvania. UAJA owns and operates the Spring Creek Pollution Control Facility which provides collection, treatment and beneficial reuse of wastewater to the Centre Region, comprised of College, Harris, Patton and Ferguson Townships as well as the Borough of State College and portions of the Pennsylvania State University.

The Treatment facility has a design flow of 9.0 MGD and an average daily flow of about 5.5 MGD. Established in 1964, the Authority is a recognized leader in management of wastewater for a growing community and has embraced sustainability and a forward-thinking approach to wastewater management on a Watershed scale.

The Spring Creek Pollution Control Facility

The Spring Creek Pollution Control Facility was originally built in 1969 and has been upgraded and expanded several times since then. Wastewater entering the plant passes through headworks treatment which consists of an automatically cleaned bar screen and a grit removal chamber.

Flow then proceeds to primary clarification followed by activated sludge treatment where organic waste is consumed and nutrients are reduced through a complex series of oxic and anoxic treatment steps. Secondary clarification removes much of the settleable solids from the waste steam and tertiary filtration polishes the wastewater before ultra-violet light disinfection and discharge to Spring Creek.

Dewatering and Composting Facilities

Biosolids treatment at UAJA occurs in our dewatering and composting facilities. All waste streams, including primary clarifier sludge and secondary clarifier sludge are stored, thickened and blended in the dewatering facility. The blended material is then thickened using two centrifuges that produce a cake of about 22% solids. This cake is then directed to the composting facility for final stabilization.

The composting facility employs an in-vessel process that takes approximately 25 days from start to finish. There are 18 horizontal bays that provide a controlled environment that allows operators to maintain moisture and aeration levels that provide ideal conditions for composting organic material. The compost process generates very high temperatures that thermally stabilizes the sludge and produces a Class A biosolids product.

Beneficial Reuse Project

In 1991, the Pennsylvania DEP issued a NPDES permit to UAJA that imposed effluent temperature limits on the UAJA discharge to Spring Creek. Subsequently, a 316(a) study was conducted and completed in 1998 that concluded that a variance on temperature limits should be granted for discharge flows up to 6 million gallons per day (MGD).

The 2000 Centre Region Act 537 Plan began the implementation of the Beneficial Reuse project, which plans and implements wastewater solutions for flows above 6 MGD. UAJA’s Beneficial Reuse project has become a national model for wastewater reuse. Currently, 1 MGD per day of secondary clarified wastewater effluent is directed to Advanced Water Treatment. This treatment includes Microfiltration, Ozone disinfection, Reverse Osmosis, Ultraviolet light and chlorination.

The reclaimed water is stored in tanks located at the facility and in two off site storage tanks. The water is distributed to a regional transmission system and is used in the community for commercial laundry, car washing, golf course irrigation and to augment stream flow in a distressed tributary of Spring Creek, Slab Cabin Run.

Beneficial Reuse has been developed by UAJA as a method to allow managed growth to continue within the Centre Region, while maintaining a high quality of life for the residents of the Region and protecting the natural environment.

Tour Our Facilty

UAJA offers tours of the Wastewater Treatment and ComposT facilities during the warm weather months, as well as educational school presentations throughout the school year. Contact us below or call 238-5361 to request a tour.

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