Officials praised the opening of a new sewage treatment plant, which will bring municipal sewage to about 860 homes in the Glendale area.
The $22.4 million Glendale Valley Municipal Authority wastewater treatment plant was brought online at the beginning of the year, said David Cunningham, an engineer in Keller Engineers Inc. water and wastewater division.
"Everything is operational," Cunningham said of the plant.
The plant extends municipal sewage service to Cambria County's Reade and White townships. The project also includes waterline extensions to Beaver Valley and Flinton.
About 500 customers have already tied into the system since the plant opened in January, Cunningham said.
The project experienced delays last fall when workers discovered a crack and subsequent leak on one of the pump station's wet wells.
Authority members voted to replace the entire unit. The project was delayed, and the contractor, HRI Inc. of State College, absorbed the costs of installing the new unit, Cunningham said.
Despite the delays and setbacks, the completed project is a welcomed sight, said Deborah Sedlmeyer, Cambria County sewage enforcement officer.
"Fourteen years in the making," Sedlmeyer said of the treatment plant. "This has been a problem area for us for quite some time."
Malfunctioning, privately owned septic tanks and "wildcat" sewage systems - where raw sewage flows into the watershed untreated - have plagued the area, Sedlmeyer said.
The Glendale treatment plant corrects those problems by bringing area residents onto a new municipal sewage system, she said.
The treatment plant will also allow for more commercial and home development in the area because developers will have access to a dedicated municipal sewage system, Sedlmeyer said.
Representatives from Reade and White townships, the two primary areas served by the system, have previously complained of problems connecting to the system.
Property and road damage sustained during construction of the plant and surrounding waterlines has been repaired, Cunningham said.
The sewage treatment plant is an extended aeration treatment plant, Cunningham said.
About 450,000 gallons of wastewater are treated daily at the plant. Once pumped through the main treatment units, a solid screen and an extended aeration basin, the water is passed through a clarifier.
Chesapeake Bay requirements mean the water also passes through a nutrient filter and is treated with ultraviolet light before being discharged into the Clearfield Creek, Cunningham said.
Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, said the treatment plant will be a benefit to the area.
Glendale School District is tied into the system, Haluska said. Homeowners will avoid the hassle of testing and upgrading their private septic systems when buying or selling a home, he said.
And new fire hydrants in White Township will provide additional water resources for area firefighters, Haluska said.
"This will be a big relief," Haluska said of the plant's varied benefits.
Officials hope to bring the almost 1,100 customers in the Glendale Year-Round onto the system as part of the second phase of the project, Cunningham said. Construction to tie the campground onto the sewage treatment system could begin as early as next spring, Cunningham said.