SAVE THE WATER FROM RAIN AND DON'T LET IT ALL DRAIN
Gregory Nester Chairperson
Cyril Burke, Jr. Vice-Chairperson
Jack Ochnich Secretarty
Fernando Feliciano, Jr. Treasurer
Cathy Lawrenece Assistant Secretary/Treasurer
The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority was formed in 1993 for the purpose of operating the municipality's sewer system. The Authority is governed by a five member Board appointed by the Municipal Council. Each board member is appointed for a five-year term.
The Authority owns and operates the wastewater treatment plant and the collection sewers of the Municipality. The wastewater treatment facility is located at 368 East Washington Street and discharges effluent to the Schuylkill River. The plant serves both the Municipality and the Township of West Norriton.
The Authority's latest Municipal Waste load Management Report (Chapter 94 Report) to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is available online.
235 E. Airy Street, 2nd Flr
Norristown, PA 19401
Office hours (M/F):
8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
After Hours Emergency Number
The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority is proud to bring you Sewer Bill Payments Online!
All customers will need to register a new account with our new online bill pay system. This is quick and easy, and will only have to be done the first time you are logging in. Once you register, you will want to save your password and the email attributed with your account.
In order to register, you will need the following:
Your NEW Account Number.This is the same as your old account number, except it starts with a "9" instead of a "0" For example your account number should be "9240XXXX-0"
Your CID Number.This is a unique security number that will be printed on every bill.
Your Email address.
A unique password of your choice.
Please note that individual rates are based on water consumption and these rates may fluctuate from month to month. Norristown receives the water consumption report from the Pennsylvania American Water Company to calculate the sewer charges. The following is a summary of the water consumption period which is reflected on your sewer bill:
Sewer Billing Period Ending Water Consumption Period
March 31 February 28
April 30 March 31 May 31 April 30
June 30 May 31
July 31 June 30
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it cost anything to sign up for online bill payment? Is there a cost to use the service?
No. Signing up is free. If you choose to make a one-time payment electronically, NMWA does charge a convenience fee per transaction to use this service. For credit or debit cards, the fee is $3.00 flat fee below $113.00 anything above $113.00 there is a 2.65% fee. If you sign up for auto pay of your sewer bill, there is no transaction fee. You can drop off or mail a voided check to the authority office.
What should I do if there is a backup?
Contact a plumber to clear any internal drain lines and to clear the private sewer line from your home to the connection on the Authority's main line. Once the private sewer line is cleared to the Authority's main sewer line and all roots, grease, and debris have been removed, then the private line should drain as normal. This should be done before you contact the Authority to investigate the issue.
Homeowners own the private sewer line from the house to the Authority's main sewer line. As such, they are responsible for maintenance and repair of this private sewer line. All costs involved with locating the problem are the responsibility of the property owner.
What causes a sewer backup?
Clogs or blockages in sewer lines can be caused by materials settling in the pipe and, in turn, partially or completely block the sewer pipe. Such blockages can occur either in the Authority's main sewer line or in the private sewer service line that the property owner owns and maintains.
The private line, also known as the lateral line, connects your home or building to the public sewer system. Wastewater from your sinks, showers, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines flow through the lateral line to the public sewer system. Lateral lines can be blocked or obstructed by items flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain, as well as by tree roots and other obstructions.
Ways to avoid backups are: Never pour grease or oil down a drain, including a garbage disposal; never flush any non-soluble down the toilet; never connect roof drains, downspouts or sump pumps to the sewer drain pipes.
What is a Tapping Fee?
A tapping fee is the amount that must be paid for each unit of capacity and conveyance of public sewer treatment. The tapping fee is based on the cost of building and/or purchasing capacity divided by the number of units of capacity that can be treated or conveyed for treatment. The best way to determine your tapping fee is to call or visit the Authority and provide your property location. The Authority maintains a map of the Township with related tapping fees and will quickly determine the applicable sewer basin and associated tapping fee.
What is an EDU?
An EDU, or "Equivalent Dwelling Unit," is defined as one single-family residential household. It is the unit of measure by which the user is charged for sewer services provided by NMWA. It is calculated and imposed on each improved property served as determined in accordance with the Sewer Use Ordinance. Non-residential facilities are calculated depending on the usage.
Will I be billed if I fill my swimming pool?
Because sewage usage charge is based upon water usage, you will be charged for filling your pool.
What happens if I have a credit on my account?
If your account has a credit balance that is approximately one month's average sewer bill, the credit will remain on the account and will be applied towards your next quarterly bill. Any credit balance exceeding this amount may be refunded to you by contacting NMWA and requesting a refund.
I am buying a home in Norristown Borough, how do I start sewer service?
What form of payment is accepted at the Administrative Office?
Cash, personal check, certified check, money order or credit card.
What if my water was shut off due to nonpayment of sewer?
If your water has been shut off for nonpayment you need to come to the administrative office. The NMWA will charge an amount of $100.00, which will be added to your bill, to have the water service turned back on. This fee plus the unpaid sewer charges plus any interest applied to the unpaid sewer charges must be paid in full at the Authority office by cash, certified check, or money order before water service is restored.
A property owner/developer that intends to connect to the Norristown sewer system must initially obtain a Sewer Connection Application and the Standard Specifications and Details for Sewer Lateral Connections, Pipe Additions and Extensions to the Sanitary Sewer System. Both documents can be obtained online or at the Authority office. The information in the Standard Specifications and Details is necessary to ensure that the construction plans for the new unit(s) conform to the most up-to-date Authority guidelines. The property owner/developer must return the completed Sewer Connection Application along with all necessary exhibits and plans and accompanied with a check in the amount of $100.
The property owner/developer will be required to sign a Professional Services Agreement and pay an escrow amount for engineering and legal review. The escrow amount will be specified in the Agreement.
Infiltration and Inflow
How a Sanitary Sewer System Works
A sanitary sewer system carries sewage (from sinks, toilets, showers/bath tubs, washing machines) from homes and businesses through privately-owned sewer laterals or pipes to publicly owned sewer mains, which are usually in the street, and then to the wastewater treatment plant located on East Washington Street (see diagram below). The sewer mains and the wastewater treatment plant are owned and operated by the Authority.
A storm water sewer system carries rainwater from streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and roof leaders (or downspouts) to publicly owned sewer mains, which are owned and operated by the Municipality of Norristown and not the Authority.
Infiltration and Inflow
Norristown residents and businesses have an important role to play in improving our sanitary sewer system.
Without knowing it, many properties may be contributing to the flow of unwanted rainwater entering the sanitary sewer lines. This extra flow may not seem like a major problem, but when Norristown experiences a heavy rainfall it can cause sewage to backup into homes or overflow manholes and run down our streets.
During heavy rainstorms large amounts of water, which is supposed to flow into the normally separate storm sewer system, instead often finds its way into the sanitary sewer system. The technical term for this problem is Infiltration and Inflow or “I and I” and its source just may be your home.
Homes that have downspouts connected to the lateral are contributing Inflow by bringing rainwater directly into the sewer system. Likewise, floor drains and sump pumps connected to the laterals are also sources of Inflow. Even the curb vents or cleanouts in your yard or sidewalk may play a role. If the vent is loose or lies below grade, rainwater can enter and flow into the sanitary sewer system (see the discussion under Sewer Vent and Cleanout Repairs).
Infiltration is a less obvious problem because its source is underground. Tree roots can cause breaks or cracks in your lateral, allowing water in the ground to seep into the broken pipe. Sections of sewer pipe under your yard or sidewalk may have separated over time, providing another way for water to enter into the sewer system.
Most people don’t realize how minor sources of I and I can add up to a major problem. One or two downspouts connected to laterals may not seem like a big deal, but when downspouts from hundreds of homes are tied into the sewer system, they can create a major surge during a rainstorm. And even if I and I is not having a direct impact on your property, it could be contributing to a sewer backup into your neighbor’s basement down the street.
I and I is not limited to private homes. Public sewer mains also become broken and cracked, and rainwater can seep through the pipe as well as the joints in manholes. So, the solution to I and I can only come through the efforts of both the Authority and the residents and businesses of Norristown.
This issue is more important now than ever. The costs of operating the treatment plant are rising and are to a large extent dependent on the amount of sewage flowing through the facility. As a result of I and I, it is not unusual for the flow during a heavy rainfall to be six or sever times the normal flow. Higher flows from I and I mean higher operating costs, which in turn mean higher sewer rates……
So we need to start reducing Infiltration and Inflow NOW. The Authority is currently involved in a multi-year program to televise all the public sewer mains in Norristown and to repair or replace those sewer mains and manholes in the worst condition. When sanitary sewer improvement work is occurring in the Municipality, the Authority will normally provide a schedule and location of the work on its website so that residents and businesses can plan accordingly.
Sewer Vent and Cleanout Repairs
The Authority has begun a public safety program of repairing the sewer cleanout or vent on selected properties in the Municipality of Norristown. Generally, the sewer cleanout or vent can be described as a capped pipe, which provides access to the sewer lateral connecting a home’s plumbing to the sewer main in the street. If this cleanout or vent is not properly installed or maintained, it could permit rainwater to enter the sewer.
In an effort to address this problem, Authority personnel are installing, at no cost to the property owner, a yellow mechanical plug in the vent or cleanout (pictures of the top and side of the mechanical plug are shown below). This plug is vented with a small hole to allow sewer gases to escape. Please note that your home likely has sewer gas venting by way of roof and/or foundation vents as well. The Authority personnel will place a door hanger on the property when the work is completed. If you or your plumber need access to the vent or cleanout, the plug can be easily removed and reinserted.
In the case of a sewer emergency on your property...
Discontinue inside water use. Contact the Authority at 610-270-3190 during normal business hours. The operator will take your information and dispatch an Authority employee. In the evening or the weekends, dial 484-220-1003. Please provide your name, the property address, a return phone number and as much information as possible concerning the blockage. An Authority employee will check the sewer main for blockage. If the blockage is in the sewer main, the Authority employee will remove the blockage. If the Authority employee determines that the sewer main is functioning properly, you will be informed and you should then contact a licensed plumber to remove the blockage from your house lateral or your internal plumbing. The Authority is responsible for maintaining the sewer mains in the street only. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the house lateral and internal plumbing. The Authority will not remove a blockage from the house lateral.
How can I prevent a sewer backup?
DO NOT pour grease of any kind down sinks, garbage disposals, or other drains. Grease builds up inside the pipe and eventually blocks the sewer. Grease is the major contributor of a sewer blockage. DO NOT flush diapers, sanitary napkins, newspapers, soiled rags, or paper towels down the toilet. DO NOT put used oil, paint, solvents, or other chemicals down sewer lines. DO NOT plant trees with shallow, spreading root systems near your sewer lateral. Tree roots seek water sources and will penetrate any cracks in the sewers. The roots can create a dense mat and trap materials. NO Fats, Oils & Grease Down the Drain!!
Construction Update - Wastewater Treatment Plant: The Authority has completed the installation of two (2) post-aeration tanks and a concrete pad for an air blower along with underground piping, air diffusers and dissolved oxygen meters. This will increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the effluent prior to its discharge to the Schuylkill River in order to comply with the new dissolved oxygen limits in the permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the treatment facility.
The Authority has undertaken the rehabilitation of one of the four digesters at the wastewater treatment plant. The digesters are cylindrical shaped containers (visible in the above aerial view of the plant) that are used to reduce the mass of the sludge after it is removed from the wastewater and to convert it into a non-hazardous form by heating and mixing the sludge. The rehabilitation will consist of two parts. The first contract will cover the removal of all of the remaining residuals in the digester followed by the cleaning of the digester. Afterwards the inside of the digester will be inspected to determine if any piping or valves need to be replaced. This work has been completed. The second contract will include the installation of a new mixing device and the repair/replacement of any appurtenances. This work is expected to start in January 2017 and be finished by the end of 2017 and is estimated to cost $1,500,000.
Construction Update - Sanitary Sewers:
The Authority has recently completed several contracts for sewer improvements in an effort to comply with the Consent Order and Agreement signed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (see discussion under "About NMWA" below).
In June 2014 the Authority awarded Contract No. 1 – Sewer Pipe Rehabilitation Project in the amount of $527,777. It consists of 42 open-cut repairs of various sections of sanitary sewer pipe throughout the Municipality of Norristown that are either crushed or severely cracked.
The second phase of the Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Contract No. 2, was awarded in July 2014 in the amount of $684,218. The work consists of the lining of approximately 8,400 linear feet of sewer pipe in 44 locations throughout the Municipality of Norristown as well as the leak repair and lining of 10 sanitary sewer manholes. This contract was financed in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development.
During the summer of 2016, the Authority replaced the sanitary sewer serving the south side of the 300 block of Warren Street and extended the sanitary sewer approximately 300 feet in the 1800 block of Chain Street. The former will eliminate sections of damaged pipe while the latter will enable several properties that are currently on a septic system to connect to public sewers. The total cost of both projects is estimated to be $250,000.
The Authority awarded a contract March 2018 in the amount of $329,390 for lining and rehabilitation of approximately 125 manholes throughout the Municipality of Norristown to help reduce the amount of rainwater that enters the sanitary sewer system. The contract is financed in part by a grant from Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development.
In August 2008 the Authority signed a Consent Order and Agreement (CO&A) Amendment with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The CO&A Amendment broke the collection system into geographic quadrants or "Quads" and established time frames for the investigation, rehabilitation and flow monitoring work to be done in each Quad with a goal of reducing the amount of rainwater or infiltration/inflow ("I/I") entering the collection system and ultimately the wastewater treatment plant (please review the information presented under the Infiltration and Inflow tab.) The CO&A Amendment mandates the completion of the work and the issuance of a final report by February 2019 documenting the amount of I/I removed from the collection system.
The work involves the following in each Quad:
- Televising of the majority of the sanitary sewer mains to determine the condition of the sewer. This has been completed.
- Repair/replacement of sanitary sewer mains in critical condition. This has been completed in Quad 1.
- Rehabilitation of manholes, including manhole inserts to prevent rainwater from entering the manhole, new manhole covers, and the replacement of manhole frames and covers, as needed. This has been completed in Quad 1.
- Installation of inserts in the clean outs of the sewer pipe servicing individual properties. This work is ongoing in each Quad.
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Norristown Municipal Waste Authority does not accept resumes for employment until an open position exists. All positions that are open to the public will be posted in this section.
All Authority Meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month in the Norristown Municipal Building at 6:45 pm. Any changes to the schedule will be noted below and advertised in advance in the local newspaper. Any person with a disability requiring a special accommodation desiring to attend the Norristown Municipal Waste Authority public meeting should contact the Municipality of Norristown at 610-270-0420 as early as possible prior to the meeting. The Municipality of Norristown will make every effort to provide a reasonable accommodation.
The next Authority Meeting will be held on June 12, 2019. CLICK HERE for the agenda.
The sewer system serves approximately 9,500 customers in the Municipality. Sewer charges are no longer billed annually but are now billed on a monthly basis. The current sewer charges consist of a service charge and a consumption charge that is based on the amount of water used in the previous month as shown below as of December 1, 2016:
Service charge per month $ 10.00 per month
Usage from 0 to 2,300 gallons per month $ 3.00 per 1,000 gallons
Usage over 2,300 gallons per month $ 6.10 per 1,000 gallons
Property on well but connected to sewer system $ 18.00 per month
A vacant property is billed for the service charge even if there is no usage unless the water service has been shut off.
Effective January 2, 2007 the Authority no longer issues a credit to the sewer bill for the filling of swimming pools.
For billing questions, you can either call the Authority office or email us at email@example.com The Pennsylvania American Water Company has stopped providing billing and collecting service to the Authority. The Authority has assumed responsibility for the billing and collecting of sewer charges for its customers.
Payments for sewer charges can be made by any of the following methods:
- Personal check or money order mailed using the return envelope provided with the sewer bill.
- Personal check or money order mailed to the Authority office:
235 E. Airy Street, 2nd Floor
Norristown, PA 19401
- Cash, personal check, money order or credit card in person at the Authority office on the second floor of the Norristown Municipal Building at 235 E. Airy Street in Norristown
The Water Company will continue to bill and collect for water charges to all of the customers in the Municipality of Norristown. This service will not be affected by the change.
Any questions regarding the sewer billing should be directed to the Authority and not the Water Company, either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone at (610) 270 - 3190.
Online Bill Payment is available click here
Payments made by credit card will be charged a convenience fee of $3.00 flat fee below $113.00 anything above $113.00 there is 2.65% fee. This fee goes to a third party processor and is not retained by the Authority. In order for us to manage our expenses and still serve our customers with a wide variety of payment options, the convenience fee is assessed on credit card transactions.
If you need a sewer certification in connection with the sale of a property or the refinancing of a mortgage, contact the Authority office. The Authority can only issue a certification for sewer billings starting in 2006. The fee for this certification is $35.
To request a sewer certification, mail to the Norristown Municipal Waste Authority a sheet or the NMWA Request Form for Sewer Certification with the following information:
- Company contact information
- Property address
- Parcel number of property
- Current property owner
- New property owner
- Date of settlement
- Instructions for transmitting sewer certification
- Return envelope or overnight delivery package, if necessary
- Check for the appropriate fee made payable to NMWA
Any check that is not issued for the correct amount will be returned to the company and a sewer certificaiton will NOT be issued.
Validity date for the sewer certification will be stated on the form. After the validity date you must contact the NMWA to receive an updated notification. There is no additional charge for the first update, provided it is within 30 days from the validity date. Thereafter, there will be another certification fee charged.
For past due and delinquent accounts prior to 2006, you must separately contact Portnoff Law Associates at 866-211-9466. You may need to request a second certification. There is an additional fee payable to Portnoff Law Associates for this second certification.
The Authority has enacted a resolution setting rules for compliance with the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law (Act 3 of 2008). To request information from the Authority, kindly complete the Right-to-Know Uniform Request Form from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records and return the form either by fax, email, mail or in person to the Authority office. Please do not send any sewer information request for the Authority to the Municipality of Norristown.