Blue Mountain Ski Area has received permission to expand its wastewater treatment plant.

The Delaware River Basin Commission recently approved the application submitted by Keystone Consulting Engineers, on behalf of Tuthill Corporation, for the renewal of an existing discharge from the ski area wastewater treatment plant.

For Blue Mountain, the approval comes as preliminary work on its new Summit Splash Water Park is under way. The water park should be open by May of 2015, and could yield about 40 new full-time jobs.

The approval means the ski area can now expand the facility from being able to treat and discharge 0.06 million gallons per day to 0.28 million gallons per day. The expanded plant will now consist of three communitors/bar screens, a surge tank, five aeration tanks, five clarifiers, four sludge storage tanks, two chlorine contact tanks, and two post aeration tanks.

The wastewater treatment plant will continue to discharge treated effluent to the Aquashicola Creek at River Mile 183.66-36.32-5.73 (Delaware River, Lehigh River, Aquashicola Creek) via Outfall No. 001, within the drainage area of the section of the nontidal Delaware River known as the Lower Delaware, which is classified as Special Protection Waters, in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County.

The project facilities are not located in the 100-year floodplain. Waste sludge will continued to be hauled off-site by a licensed hauler for disposal at a state-approved facility.

The overall cost of the project is estimated to be $1,224,180.

The wastewater treatment facility discharges to waters classified as SPW, and is required to have available emergency power. The existing wastewater treatment plant has a generator installed capable of providing emergency power to the existing 0.06 mgd facility, and will be required to install a generator capable of providing emergency power for the expanded facility.

The wastewater treatment facility is not/will not be staffed 24 hours per day, and must have a remote alarm system that continuously monitors plant operations. The existing WWTP has a remote alarm system installed that continuously monitors plant operations for the 0.06 mgd facility, and will be required to install remote alarm systems capable of monitoring operations for the expanded facility.

The existing facility has prepared and implemented an emergency management plan in accordance with commission requirements, and is required to prepare a modified EMP before operation of the expanded wastewater treatment plant for the expanded facility.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit No. PA 0063428 for this project was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Feb. 1, 2011.

The PADEP issued an internal review and recommendation for Water Quality Management Permit No. 1311401 related to this project on April 2, 2012.