Wastewater plant mishap won't impact $235 million sale, according to company

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
A collapsed facade of a digester building located at York City's wastewater treatment plant.

A sewage leak and collapsed facade at York City's wastewater treatment plant will not impact the $235 million sale of the system, a spokesperson with the company looking to purchase it said.

City officials on Monday reported that engineers are investigating a leak that was discovered at the wastewater treatment plant on Saturday. The leak coming from digesters at the plant appears to have coincided with the collapse of a facade on the building.

The leak was fixed Saturday, officials said.

"No, this does not have any impact on the acquisition or the agreement or anything that's still in the works," said Pennsylvania-American Water Co. spokesperson Laura Martin.

More:Board approves sale of York City wastewater system; now back to council

More:Sewage leak discovered; facade collapses at York City wastewater treatment plant

As of Thursday, it was still unclear what caused the leak, said Philip Given, Mayor Michael Helfrich's chief of staff. It also wasn't clear if the leak and the collapsed facade were related.

The city expects to receive a report early next week from Buchart Horn Inc. engineers to determine the cause of the leak, Given said, but he was unsure if it would be a full report.

A collapsed facade of a digester building located at York City's wastewater treatment plant.

Buchart Horn Inc. did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The city is close to signing off on an asset purchase agreement with Pennsylvania-American Water to sell its entire wastewater system for $235 million.

The city's sewer authority board approved the asset purchase agreement on March 24, but it isn't final until the City Council votes to transfer the responsibilities of owning the system from the authority.

If approved, the state Public Utility Commission would then conduct a six-month review of the sale before making a decision.

It is unclear when the City Council will vote on the resolution, but its next meeting is slated for Tuesday evening.

If members approves the resolution, the asset purchase agreement would go into effect, and the city would receive a $20 million advance from Pennsylvania-American Water.

“Once the APA is signed, then our team will start a more detailed evaluation of the system,” Martin said.

The company will look to ensure the system is compliant with environmental standards as well as structural and safety standards, she said.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.