The Altoona Water Authority’s wastewater collection and treatment system serves close to 19,000 customers. The system consists of approximately 230 miles of 6 in. thru 48 in. diameter sewer line, (Privately owned laterals add approximately 190 miles to the system), 3,200 manholes, three pump stations, two combined sewer overflow facilities (CSOs), and two single stage nitrification activated sludge treatment facilities.
The collection system is divided into two drainage basins known as the Westerly and the Easterly gravity sewerage basins. These state-of-the-art CSO and treatment facilities were among the first systems in the eastern United States to integrate the treatment of wet weather flows, combined sewer overflow discharges and normal wastewater flows.
Upstream of each treatment facility is a combined sewer overflow facility (CSO) for use during storm events to capture the "first flush" from the combined sewer system. The Westerly Facility located at Tuckahoe Park stores up to 1.3 MG of wastewater while the Easterly Facility located at Bellwood Avenue and Kettle Street stores up to 1.7 MG. Each CSO operates in the same way. When the flow in the interceptor sewer reaches a predetermined set point, the excess flow is diverted into the CSO. Before the wastewater enters the storage tanks, it passes through mechanically cleaned bar screen where any larger debris is removed. The debris is dropped onto a conveyor belt and transported into a holding pit before being disposed of in a permitted landfill. As the interceptor flow recedes the stored wastewater is pumped into the system for proper treatment.