Check out the latest news on the Capacity and Condition Assessments
“NMWA continues to evaluate capacity and condition of its sewers. Capacity is critical for projected growth and development to ensure facilities are properly sized to handle the additional loading while condition is important to continue to ensure a high level of service is maintained for all of our customers.”
All payments can be made online at
www.norristownsewer.org. Checks, money orders, certified checks can be mailed, or payments can be left in the dropbox at 25 E. Marshall St.
Any questions, you can call 610-270-3190.
The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority
The Big Check
The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority energy optimization upgrade:
In 2018 the 5 members of the Board of the Norristown Municipal Authority directed its staff to develop a comprehensive plant and process upgrade to optimize the operation of the wastewater treatment process. The intent of this upgrade was to improve the energy efficiency of the equipment that is utilized on a daily basis to move, treat, and disinfect wastewater for the Municipality and West Norriton Township. This included equipment, such as, blowers and pumps. The goal of the project was to capitalize on the energy and operational cost savings that would be derived from upgrading the outdated and inefficient equipment that was currently in service at the treatment plant.
The initial phase of this project was a baseline energy measurement and calculation to determine what the current energy usage was and what the potential savings could be. The savings calculated over the life expectancy of the equipment being upgraded was used to develop an initial project budget based on these savings, effectively allowing the upgrades to be funded out of the reduced operating costs over the life of the equipment.
In addition to the reduced monthly energy costs that would result from the proposed upgrades, the Authority was able to capitalize on the “PECO motor and drive energy incentive program.” PECO incentives can help offset the costs of replacing old motors with energy-efficient models and installing variable speed drives on existing equipment.
After these potential savings were identified by Authority staff and their consultants, we reached out to PECO to begin discussing the rebates that could be available. Upon discussing the project with PECO’s staff, it became apparent that the proposed upgrades would provide a significant annualized energy savings as well as qualify the Authority to receive a substantial rebate from PECO based on the amount that our energy demand would be reduced.
PECO’s engineering staff performed pre and post project electrical load measurements to quantify the amount of energy demand reduction that would result from our project. Based on these measurements it was determined that the project would result in a net energy usage reduction of 1.83 million kilowatt hours per year, which is over a 60% decrease in electricity used by the previous equipment. This energy savings resulted in a project rebate check from PECO in the amount of $182,695.94. This is the second largest rebate check that PECO has issued as part of their ongoing incentive program.
The Authority was able to utilize the PECO rebate money to undertake the replacement of another aged piece of equipment that was omitted from the upgrade project due to the lack of funds.
The Authority is shifting its attention to the upgrading of its sewer system and will be undertaking two sewer rehabilitation projects during 2023. With the completion of the sewer work and the treatment plant upgrade, the Authority will be in an excellent position to accept the anticipated development within the Municipality for at least the next 10 years.
The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority has one of the lowest sewer usage rates in the state of PA. Utilizing programs like the PECO energy incentive rebate allows the authority to implement the necessary equipment and process upgrades to provide the highest level of service while keeping our rates as affordable as possible.
Printed in the Times Herald:
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
SHORT AND LONG TERM INITIATIVES
History of the Sewer Plant
Gregory Nester Chairperson
Cyril Burke, Jr. Vice-Chairperson
Sonya Sanders Secretary
Gary Hayward Simpson Treasurer
Richard (Buck) Jones 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. Participation on the Board is strictly voluntary.
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.
25 E. Marshall Street
Norristown, PA 19401
Office hours (M/F):
8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
After Hours Emergency Number
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 undertaken several projects to improve the efficiency of its equipment and the quality of the wastewater discharge into the Schuykill River as well as the sludge disposed at permitted landfill sites.
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 increased the amount of dissolved oxygen in the effluent prior to its discharge to the Schuylkill River in order to comply with the dissolved oxygen limits in the permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the treatment facility. The cost of this project was $1,900,000.
Rehabilitation of one of the four digesters at the wastewater treatment plant. The digesters are cylindrical shaped containers 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 consisted of two parts. The first contract covered the removal of all of the remaining residuals in the digester followed by the cleaning of the digester. Afterwards the inside of the digester was inspected to determine if any piping or valves need to be replaced. The second contract included the installation of a new mixing device and the repair/replacement of any appurtenances. This work cost $1,400,000.
Currently, the Authority is undertaking an extensive upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant. The purpose of the project is to modernize the facility and thereby eliminate aged equipment and buildings and to comply with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, the project should insure that sufficient capacity continues to exist for the future development of the Municipality.
The Major components of the project include:
- Demolition of the existing Maintenance Building and the erection of a new building
- Replacement of existing blowers that are essential to the treatment process with high efficient blowers
- Erection of an elevated blower building which will house the new blowers and protect them from any future flooding
- Renovation of existing Operations Building
- Replacement of existing influent pumps with high efficient submersible pumps
- Renovation of Sludge Dewatering Building
- Replacement of existing belt filter press with modern sludge dewatering equipment to increase the removal of water from the sludge and therby reduce the related disposal costs
- Installation of automated monitoring equipment to facilitate optimal operation
- Replacement of existing blowers with high efficient equipment to insure adequate air for the continued operation of the modersized wastewater treatment plant
- Construction of a new blower building to house the new blowers and safeguard them from flooding
Construction has started and will be completed in 2022. The estimated cost is $14,000,000 and it is not expected to have a major impact on the present sewer rates in large part because of the operating savings that are associated with the updated equipment.
Construction Update - Sanitary Sewers:
The Authority has 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 consisted 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 consisted 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 eliminated sections of damaged pipe while the latter enabled several properties to connect to public sewers. The total cost of both projects was $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 was financed in part by a grant from Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development.
Since 2016 the Authority has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to replace the entire sanitary sewer system in Markley Street from Johnson Highway to Main Street in conjunction with the repaving and realignment of Route 202. The Authority has invested approximately $2,500,000 toward this effort.
In 2019 the Authority working with Montgomery County contributed $102,000 towards the replacement of certain sewers and appurtenances in connection with the Lafayette Street Extension Project.
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 involved the following:
Televising of the majority of the sanitary sewer mains to determine the condition of the sewer.
Repair/replacement of sanitary sewer mains in critical condition.
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.
Installation of inserts in the clean outs of the sewer pipe servicing individual properties.
Based on the information provided on the final report and the considerable progress achieved in reducing peak flows and in improving the management of wet weather flow coupled with the commitment of the Authority to complete the sewer plant upgrade, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection concluded that the Consent Order and Agreement, and the Amendment were considered closed.
The Authority is aware of the potential for development in the Municipality of Norristown and to that extent it undertook a study to determine the capability of the existing sanitary sewers to serve the estimated customers in four (4) potential high development areas, State Hospital, Riverfront, Main and Dekalb Streets, and the former parochial high school on Johnson Highway.
MEET THE TEAM
All Authority Meetings are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month at 25 E. Marshall St 1st Flr at 6:00 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 Sewer Authority at 610-270-3190 as early as possible prior to the meeting. The Norristown Municipal Waste Authority will make every effort to provide a reasonable accommodation.
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Norristown Municipal Waste Authority will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 6:00 pm as a virtual meeting. Any customer of the Authority that wishes to ask a question or make a comment for the meeting should submit the question or comment in writing prior to the meeting by emailing it to email@example.com. In the event that a customer does not have access to a computer, a written question or comment can be placed in the drop box outside the Authority office.
Join Zoom Meeting:
The next Authority Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2024
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 $ 10.30 per month
Usage from 0 to 2,300 gallons per month $ 3.09 per 1,000 gallons
Usage over 2,300 gallons per month $ 6.28 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
25 E. Marshall Street
Norristown, PA 19401
- Cash, personal check, money order or credit card in person at the Authority office on the firsr floor at 25 E. Marshall 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 (email@example.com) 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.