Cleaner Water in Mount Carmel

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Several communities in our area are getting ready to spend state money on improvements to water and sewage systems.

In Northumberland County Mount Carmel intends to use the money to separate storm drains and sewage lines.

The project will mean cleaner creeks and less water going through sewage treatment plants.

Thanks to a state loan, Mount Carmel borough officials can finish work that will keep area creeks cleaner and help save power at the municipal sewage treatment plant.

"So, all it will be is storm water running down through the creeks, and only sewage going down to our plant," said Larry Czeponis of Mount Carmel Municipal Authority. He added it's an environmental project that will keep the borough's sewage out of its storm drains and cut down on the amount of water being treated at the sewage treatment plant. "Sometimes we treat eight million to 10 million gallons of water and there's maybe only 750,000 gallons of sewage. So you still have to treat that and it costs. So, our costs will go down,"

Czeponis said sewer rates will stay steady, which many residents are happy about since rates are skyrocketing in other communities.

"Especially in Shamokin and Coal Township, because their rates were $30 and now they're $49.50, and that's just in one jump," said Catherine Fantini of Mount Carmel.

"Us people on Social Security and everything, we don't have a very deep budget and we have to watch," said Emily Homanick of Mount Carmel.

The state department of environmental protection has also asked the borough to clean up the water flowing into Shamokin and Butternut creeks.

Right now, after a lot of rain, sewer water can find its way into local creeks. Officials said when the sewer lines and storm drains are separated the water in the creeks will be much clearer.

"It's always all black. It's either from the mines or from up above. That's all we do, we don't clean no mud here, we clean black," Homanick added.

Borough officials said work on the project will begin in December.