There are three main factors contributing to the failure of Delmont Borough’s sewage system:
- storm-water runoff;
- inflow/infiltration; and
- the force main itself, which is made of ductile iron and experiencing excessive pitting and corrosion due to the moist and acidic nature of the surrounding clay soil.
To understand these factors more clearly, what follows is a brief description of the sewage system, which was installed in 1984:
By force of gravity, sewage is carried from Delmont Borough’s sewers downhill through an 8” PVC pipe to a pumping station located in Salem Township. From there it is pumped under pressure through the iron force main (which runs parallel to the PVC gravity line and lies in the same ditch) back up over the hill and is then carried by gravity in the opposite direction to its ultimate treatment destination, the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority (FTMSA) in Murrysville. Delmont Borough owns this sewage system and is legally responsible for inspection, maintenance and repairs, up to and including replacement of key components and/or significant sections of the system, as warranted.