20 March 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Ann’s Public Comments/Questions on Cheltenham’s Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan

Here (below) is a copy of Ann’s written public comments/questions about the Township’s Sewer Plan.  The public comment period on this Act 537 Plan runs through the end of March.  Responses will be made after that period.



To:       Brian Havir, Cheltenham Township Manager

From:   Ann L. Rappoport, Ph.D.

114 E. Waverly Road, Wyncote, 19095 (215-884-4155; annrappoport@comcast.net)

Re:       Public Comments on Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan



I have some questions about the Act 537 Sewage Plan, which I’d like to be included in the records of public comments and for which I’d also appreciate responses, please.


  1. The Plan recommends construction and remedies geared for a future flow of 29 cfs instead of an alternative of 36 cfs.  Although I understand that the choice is a less costly option and that it supposedly accounts for improvements in the I/I situation, I missed finding evidence that 29 cfs is fully adequate to incorporate potential growth, both in Cheltenham and in feeder communities. (The chart on page 28 doesn’t really clarify this.) I’d like more detailed explanation of how 29 cfs accommodates future effluent from currently vacant as well as undeveloped properties in Cheltenham (and also in contributing regions).  Furthermore, what downsides beyond cost would be associated with providing the more generous and flexible capacity?


  1. The Plan recommends construction of a pump station and routing of a force at Rices Mill Road to near South Avenue.  Yet explanations were vague about certain aspects of this portion of the plan.


(a) What exactly about this site differs from other sites along Interceptor A that makes this the only place where replacement of the Interceptor is not chosen?

(b) Cost estimates for this approach exceed all others except one with which it is approximately the same.  What cost estimates would accompany a different approach?  (Such as replacing the Interceptor?)

(c) I couldn’t find any information describing the sort of structure to expect for a recommended pumping station.  Although, of course, details would come at a future point, it would be useful to understand the parameters and expectations of such an alternative.  Are there current examples to provide?

(d)  Disadvantages of various alternatives are provided in the Plan. However, I missed seeing the disadvantages spelled out about pumping stations.  What are they?

(e)  Could you please explain the advantages of using a force main to bypass the lined section of Interceptor, over the approaches used in all the other Phases of the Plan?

(f)  The Plan is quite vague about where down the line the pumped sewage re-enters the primary Interceptor.  Please clarify where – or at least the expected parameters of where and how and why –  the force main “reintroduce[s] it further downstream in the interceptor.”

(g)  Are there sites in, for example Abington, before the sewage enters Cheltenham interceptors, that may be suited for pump stations which might have positive impact on reducing flow within Cheltenham’s systems?


  • Please clarify who pays to replace laterals that are determined to need replacement.


  • Assuming Cheltenham enacts/implements stringent ordinances about roof drains, FOG, laterals, etc., are there any inter-municipal agreements that feeder municipalities are doing the same with their residential and commercial properties?  This seems to be an example of where regional planning might work best, both in terms of storm/water quality/sewage management and in terms of competitive dis/advantage.  Is this addressed in the Plans of these other municipalities or in some regional plan?


Although additional questions may arise*, this is it for now.  Thank you very much for officially receiving these and for getting back to me with responses.


Best wishes,


 * On March 19, this additional question/comment was sent:  

  • Are there any particular issues about/impact for the Perley Bird Sanctuary area and its creek in terms of flood water management and Act 537 plans?  (I had asked about the pump, but there weren’t enough details to understand the impact on this part of the creek).


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