The Municipal Authority of Buffalo Township
is public water and sanitary sewer supplier for 3 communities in southeastern Butler county and southern Armstrong County
We supply public water service for over 5000 residents in Buffalo Township and Freeport Borough and we are the sole source of
water for the growing water system of the South Buffalo Township Municipal Authority. Our recently expanded sanitary sewer system
serves nearly 4700 residents in Buffalo Township and is growing at a rapid pace.
The Authority was created back in 1967 by the Buffalo Township Supervisors for the purpose of creating a public water system. As the years went by this rural community grew at a steady rate and the Authority grew along with it. In the mid 80s, the Authority was in need of a new source of water. After failing in repeated attempts to secure a surface water supply permit for nearby Buffalo Creek, they purchased the adjacent water system in Freeport Borough from General Waterworks.
At the time of purchase, Freeport system consisted of a dated and crumbling water treatment plant on the Allegheny River and a distribution system serving 870 customers in Freeport Borough. One of the two filters at the plant was inoperative and the main pumps were on their last legs. The roof was leaking and a flock of pigeons had nested in main building, coming and going through the many missing windows in the filter gallery. The distribution system had suffered the same neglect as the plant; over half of the 80 million gallons produced each year was lost through leaks in the distribution piping and the decaying concrete reservoir.
Although in need of many repairs, the Freeport Water System was a wise purchase for the Municipal Authority of Buffalo Township because it gave us the one thing we could not do without: a permit to draw 1.25 million gallons per day from the Allegheny River. This purchase secured an adequate supply of water for our growing customer base. The Authority went to work immediately on two priority items, bringing the plant operation up to acceptable standards and constructing a pumping station to connect Freeport to their existing system in Buffalo Township. By October of 1990 the plant was operating on both filters and consistently producing quality water. The pump station construction was complete so now the plant was supplying the needs of Freeport Borough, Buffalo Township and in addition, through an agreement executed in February of 1989, the newly formed and rapidly growing water authority in South Buffalo Township.
In 1989, the Authority secured one of the very first loans issued by the newly created Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST. This loan/grant combination was used to provide sanitary sewer service to the Silverville area of the township. Although small, this project was significant because it marked the first public sewers to be installed in Buffalo Township and required the coordination of work through several adjacent municipalities and municipal authorities.
The expansion of sanitary sewer service continued slowly until the summer of 1997 when construction of the Authority's Phase III sewer project began. This new project consisted of 36 miles of gravity sewer line, two pumping stations, and a .41 MGD wastewater treatment plant. Construction was completed in the fall of 1998 on time and on budget. Total construction costs of $14 million dollars were funded in part by a $10.1 million dollar PENNVEST loan. Construction of the system went smoothly but required a difficult interceptor to be constructed through the steep and rocky valley formed by Little Buffalo Creek. Nine different contractors and countless subcontractors were involved in the project.
The centerpiece of our sewer system is the .41 MGD Buffalo Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant located two and one half miles north of Freeport along the Butler-Freeport Community Rail Trail. The plant is a standard extended air plant using activated sludge. A one meter filter press has been installed for dewatering sludge. Ultraviolet disinfection was selected to protect the discharge waters of Buffalo Creek, a high quality trout stream.
Since 1989, the Authority has received over $12.2 million dollars from the PENNVEST program for 5 different water and sewer projects. In addition, the Authority has been the recipient of over $900,000 in grant funds from various sources for 4 different water and sewer projects. This is no small accomplishment given the very competitive nature of grant and loan funds over the past 15 years.