The Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority recently launched its capital improvement campaign that will invest $155 million to make significant upgrades and repairs across its aging sewer system. The initial investment is part of an ongoing infrastructure improvement initiative that BCWSA will continue to fund over the next several years.
The authority recently sold bonds to fund the first phase of the campaign, which includes $60 million for major upgrades to the Neshaminy Interceptor, a large diameter pipe that carries wastewater from Lower Bucks County to a treatment plant in Philadelphia. The project will bypass and replace the 12 miles of aging pipe infrastructure to mitigate inflow and infiltration for both economic and environmental improvements.
“The long-term reliability and vitality of BCWSA services is entirely dependent on the authority’s ability to repair, replace and expand the system’s infrastructure,” said Benjamin Jones, BCWSA CEO. “This is something the authority has done for the last 60 years and plans to continue for at least the next 60 years.
“We heard from our customers and the communities we serve about the importance of maintaining the authority as a public utility. They affirmed our confidence that BCWSA is well-equipped to successfully complete a multi-year, multi-million-dollar infrastructure improvement campaign. Our investments will go beyond just replacing aging pipes and equipment, but improve capacities for those we serve, allow for regional growth and create a sustainable future.”
Payment of the first bond issue will raise BCWSA retail customers’ rates by 10 percent over the next three years. The rate increase to wholesale customers overall will be about 16 percent. Customers will see the new rates reflected on their bills starting this month.
“Water and sewer service is not something most think about except when it’s time to pay the bills,” said Jones. “The infrastructure required to reliably deliver clean water and drain and treat wastewater can be taken for granted — until it doesn’t work. That is why we must make ongoing investments and ensure that we address issues before they occur.”
The initial $155 million investment is part of a $197.6 million bond series recently approved by the BCWSA board of directors. A portion of the total proceeds are dedicated to refund the authority’s existing bonds and sewer debt. Additionally, BCWSA anticipates issuing at least two additional series of bonds within the next five years to finance additional infrastructure improvements.
Visit BCWSAInvestments.org for more information.