Jan 6, 2012

Lehigh County's Toilet

Allentown park system, and especially Lehigh Parkway, is becoming Lehigh County's toilet. It's where the waste ends up, and occasionally overflows. The new water line to the suburbs is currently being laid through Cedar Park, shown above, but the waste comes back through Lehigh Parkway, right along the stream. Although the County has been under federal mandate to upgrade the waste system, we continue to sell more water. Yesterday's Morning Call article concentrated on the jobs that Ocean Spray will supposedly bring to the western edge of the Valley, but failed to mention why Ocean Spray is moving. They have decided to move, rather than update their factory to current New Jersey standards for pollution. Apparently, making cranberry juice involves a nasty discharge. Our elected leaders can never wait to cut a new ribbon, regardless of it's true cost.


Anonymous said...

MM -

This is an ongoing travesty.

The new line should not be installed until the discharge issue in the Parkway is resolved.

But the mayor has to keep selling more capacity to cover his financial mismanagement, and Council does its part to help with the coverup. Meanwhile, our prized parks are paying the price.

While the Mayor and his lemmings on council spoil our parks, what do we do? A majority continues to vote them into office, and will probably vote for some of them as they run for even higher offices (to screw things up at a higher level).

Wake up Allentown!

Anonymous said...

M.M., with the arena project and reily and butz buildings with the sewage flowing from the suburbs, does the sewage treatment plant have the capacity,since you mention that the mayor continues to sell the capacity at the plant. someone needs to look into this. hope it is you.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:27, i don't think that the arena, nor the reilly building. will have much impact on the sewer issue. the growth and selection of businesses induced to the upper macungie area is different story. although i don't consider myself green or any sort of environmentalist, the valley is literally being sold down the river.

Anonymous said...

Anon 727, in ordinary weather the sewage treatment plant has ample capacity. The problem happens when there is significant rainfall infiltrates the system, overwhelming the plant and the pipes leading to it, resulting in what MM has documented here as well as discharges of partially treated sewage into the Lehigh River.

Mike I'm not trying to take the other side on development, just answering the question asked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I had no idea that there were environmental concerns about Ocean Spray.

Anonymous said...

All these recent posts highlighting Allentown's amazing infastructure problems are pointless.

I have every confidence that Mayor Pawlowski has everything under complete control and this is why 75% of the citizenry chose him to lead this city in the last election.

So, when is the first contest at the magnificent Palace of Sport?


Anonymous said...

These posts highlighting the amazing and numerous infastructure problems the City seems to be having are pointless and counterproductive.

The citizen workers of this City overwhelmingly and democratically re-elected the Chairman by a 75% margin or thereabouts; I have every confidence Pawlowski is on top of everything, at all times and, as a result, am free to focus on more transformational projects.

I love this town ... I should have come years ago.


Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.


Pawlowski's citizenry is now such that he can do anything he wants.

A large segment is immune from most taxation. Another big group is senior citizens who are broken down, struggling, and just don't want to get involved.

His city council is VERY weak. The local newspaper, in the bag.

I truly don't know why Ed didn't go for a 60,000 seat dome downtown. That would have slid through just as easily.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know why Ed didn't go for a 60,000 seat dome downtown"

Because the Chairman probably just did not realize the extent of his own power and control, as I am sure you already know, Retired ASD Teacher.

It can happen to anybody, really, so I am prepared to cut Pawlowski some slack. When I became head coach at Central Red Army Sports Club, I had no idea that we could just draft all the best players into the army and be done with it. I had spent all my playing days with Dynamo Moscow (run by the KGB), you understand.

Dynamo has to take time and threaten prospects by telling them if they do not sign on, then the parents forfeit their jobs and small apartment, get thrown in a Gulag on a trumped up treason charge, the usual stuff.

Authoritarian rule is not as easy as you might be tempted to think --- much like a sport, it actually takes practice to become perfect at wielding such unlimited power and control.

Experience is key.


Anonymous said...

While someone has installed new manholes in the Parkway surrounded each with cement, raw sewage, it's not semi-treated as someone wrote here, still leaks especially in a few of the meadows.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bernie O'Hare said...

I had no idea that there were environmental concerns about Ocean Spray.

January 6, 2012 10:27 AM

If you get a chance Bernie, Google the Macungies meeting minutes to read what longtime farmers have to say about water tables and wells. It's frightening.

Anonymous said...

8:50 -

What you point out is correct.

The problem is the city is only supposed to sell a certain percentage of its total capacity to be able to handle the excess from storms.

But - despite tax increases, fee increases, and other fleecings of the taxpayers - the city doesn't have enough money to cover the overspending in the General Fund. Hence, the over-selling of sewer capacity.

Anonymous said...

6:44 -

Plus the odor emanating from the manholes is there on most any day.

Now the plan appears to be to bring the same problems we have in the Little Lehigh Parkway to the Cedar Parkway.

Where are the so-called environmentalists and their groups on this? Maybe they only turn out when it's a republican mayor.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:56, let me clarify that the pipe being laid through cedar park, both east and west of cedar crest blvd., is a water supply line, not sewer. however, most of the water which will be sent through that pipe to western lehigh county, will come back as sewage through lehigh parkway. allentown and other municipalities only meter water, and not sewage, because the input and output is almost identical.

Bill said...

I think the last point you are making is the most important, Mike. What goes up must come down. So I am learning here that we are sending up fresh water and building new lines for that. Sewage then streams down through the old lines, the system periodically gets overwhelmed and are community has sewage spewing out of man hole covers and into our parks and streams.

How sad.

Is this legal? Should not the DEP or EPA be fining Allentown or Lehigh County for this? There is a lot of bad stuff in sewage that can hurt people and the environment.

How many interest groups are asleep at the switch on this one?

Rob Hamill said...

LCA is hell bent on creating an empire of mandatory public water and sewer based on strip mining the upper Little Lehigh Aquifer and then making the Jordan nothing more than an open sewer(kind of like the Little Lehigh in high water). The new expansion plans call for 465 houses being built in NW Lehigh County for the next 10 years. To pay for this will take about $10,000/ customer. Anyone see any new house being built lately?
Actually this water line is needed to bring water from near the Lehigh River rather than wells along the Little Lehigh. LCA likes to take the most pristine and environmentally fragile land to do its dirty work on, so any park or farmer's field is salivated over to destroy, so LCA can grow its bureaucracy bigger.
We need to get LCA under political control to serve the people rather than rule the people.

David Emme said...

Could this be Allentown's way of saving money. In the Marines, we would chant-"What makes the grass grow? Blood, blood, blood." "So what are we going to do? Kill, kill, kill!"

When I got stationed in 29 Palms, I found iout this was not true! They have these holes in the ground where every toilet on the base is flushed into what is known as Lake Bandini. I swear the CG has the greenest lawn in the Marines.

Dave Emme