Lehigh Valley

Supervisors mulling community sewer systems again in Upper Milford

Vera Cruz residents were forced to hook up to LCA sewers in 2012.

UPPER MILFORD, Pa. - A waiver request for a well isolation at a Kings Highway property in Zionsville tied to a septic system sparked a debate concerning whether Upper Milford Township Supervisors should investigate the feasibility of a community sewer system in that area.

Planning Coordinator Brian Miller told supervisors Thursday night during a workshop that preceded the board's regular meeting that the situation regarding failing septic systems  in the Zionsville area of the township is not going to improve.

"It's to the point that we need to update the (Act) 537 plan for the entire township," said township manager, Dan DeLong. "We've got enough public data to know we've got a combination of problems in that area. Is it wiser to have (septic systems) installed or scrap it for a public system?"

Act 537, known as the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, is implemented by the state's Department of Environmental Protection to help address existing sewage disposal needs and to help prevent future problems through the proper planning, permitting, and design of all types of sewage facilities.

In 2012, residents in the Vera Cruz section of the township were forced to hook up to a Lehigh County Authority sewer project, even though many invested in septic systems.

Supervisor chairman Robert Sentner said that a home with septic system problems is a nightmare.

"The people in Vera Cruz paid nominal fees and are way ahead of the game," he said.

DeLong said a township sewer project would be three to four years in the making.

"No one wants to buy a home with a failed septic system," he said.

Supervisors instructed Miller to provide them with an analysis of the Zionsville area in question for their review.

In other business, supervisors said they will consider paring the township's Planning Board from nine members down to seven.

"Nine is a lot of people on the planning commission. There's a massive amount of paperwork involved," Sentner said. 

DeLong said five-to-seven members is the norm for local planning commissions.

Current members of the Upper Milford Planning Commission are Chairman, Matthew Hunter; Vice-Chairman Joyce Brown, Secretary Phil Hartranft, Jr., along with Susan J. Smith, Henry H. Kradjel, Ronald M. Guth, Angelika Forndran, Judith Parker and Sentner.

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