Conshohocken Sewer Authority Purchases West Conshohocken’s Sewer System

Today we received a press release announcing the sale of the West Conshohocken’s sewer system to the Borough of Conshohocken Sewer Authority. We are going to share with you the text of the press release and provide some explanation as to what it all means. The press release reads:

With an eye on long-term sewer rate stabilization for Conshohocken residents, the Conshohocken Borough Authority has purchased the West Conshohocken Borough sewer conveyance system.

The acquisition will expand the Borough of Conshohocken’s existing customer base of 3,100 by approximately 800 to 3,900 in all, according to Executive Director Stephen Clark. West Conshohocken has been a bulk customer of Conshohocken Borough Authority since 1985, Clark said, adding that the Conshohocken Authority treats waste from West Conshohocken’s residential and business customers.

The Conshohocken Borough Authority has kept rates flat for the last five years. Prior to a change in its rate structure in 2012, the Authority had not increased rates in 20 years. On average, customers pay approximately $370 per year for sewer service.

The purchase of the West Conshohocken collections system will not result in a rate increase to cover the cost of the purchase, and has the added benefit of providing long term stability to residents of both Conshohocken Borough and West Conshohocken Borough. “Conshohocken Borough customers will not see a rate hike resulting from this purchase,” Clark said. “Ownership of the West Conshohocken conveyance system safeguards our customers against the potential rate instability of another utility company. Conshohocken and West Conshohocken will continue working collaboratively to serve our customers.”

As a bulk customer, West Conshohocken shares in the Conshohocken Borough Authority’s operating expenses and capital improvement costs. For instance, West Conshohocken has contributed 20.2 percent of the Authority’s odor control project costs to date. Once complete later this year, the estimated $2.3 million undertaking will dramatically reduce odors stemming from the Conshohocken Borough Authority facility.

The $9.5 million sale of the West Conshohocken sewer conveyance system is expected to be finalized in June or July.

So what does that mean? The previous system had West Conshohocken’s sewage being pumped to the Conshohocken Sewer Authority plant on East Elm Street in Conshy where it was processed. That will stay the same, except now the Conshsohocken Sewer Authority will oversee the entire process on both sides of the river. If you are wondering the pipes carrying the sewage across the river are under the bridge.

Stephen Clark shared that currently West Conshohocken is billed quarterly at a rate of $3.49 per 1,000 gallons. That cost covers the operating cost of the plant. West Conshohocken then billed its customers. Once the sale is finalized in June or July, Conshohocken Sewer Authority will directly bill residents and businesses using the sewer system.