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Capital Region Water unveils $50 million in upgrades at wastewater treatment plant

HARRISBURG—Capital Region Water unveiled $50 million in improvements to its wastewater treatment plant this week, marking the first major upgrade in 40 years.

The upgrade, which took two years to complete, will help the facility meet regulatory requirements to reduce pollution into the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

The project involved adding new treatment units to reduce nitrogen pollution by 90 percent and “suspended solids,” or particles in the water by nearly 50 percent, according to a news release.

The facility treats about 22 million gallons of water each day for more than 120,000 residents in Harrisburg, Lower Paxton, Susquehanna, Swatara, Paxtang, Penbrook and Steelton.

“All of us – from our families, to our local economy, even small mouth bass in the Susquehanna River depend on clean water,” said Capital Region Water Chief Executive Officer Shannon Williams, according to the news release..

The project updated aging equipment, which will help the company meet the needs of current and future customers, said Andrew Bliss, spokesman for CRW.

The upgrade was financed, in part, by a $21.5 million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

The company staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by CRW board members, Sen. Rob Teplitz and others at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Area residents can see the upgrades first-hand during an open house set for Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information about the event can be found on the company website. The wastewater plant is located at 1662 South Cameron Street but 1050 Elliot Street, Harrisburg, PA is the best address to use for GPS directions.

The improvements at the Harrisburg plant follow upgrades at other treatment plants in the region designed to reverse damage to the Chesapeake Bay.

Treatment improvements in the last 30 years at the 10 largest wastewater treatment plants in the Bay watershed have cumulatively prevented 240 million pounds of nitrogen and 48 million pounds of phosphorus from entering the Bay, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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