The new sewer needs assessment survey for areas of West Penn Township and Walker Township have been completed, revealing that the call for a large public sewer option for the Act 537 plan may no longer be necessary.

The project had been previously estimated to cost $11.5 million, but the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) felt that because the data from the first survey was nearly a decade old, a new one should be done.

At last evening's West Penn Township board of supervisors meeting, Township Engineer Ronald B. Madison, PE said, "The suspicion that perhaps the sewer needs were overstated and not as critical as what was believed pretty much came true."The sub consultant hired to conduct the new survey, Sewage Enforcement Officer Scott C. Bieber of Lehigh Soils and Wetlands, revisited 95 percent of the 231 homes that were thought to have septic problems and presented the results to the sewer committee last Friday.

These numbers, Madison said, should be sufficient enough to show exactly what properties need to be worked on. As long as DEP finds the results of the survey meet its standards at a meeting set to be scheduled toward the end of this month, according to Madison, townships should start having public hearings by late October or early November to discuss details of how the project will be implemented and how much it will cost. Next board of supervisors meeting is on Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., in the municipal building.