507 

 

NARRATIVE: The University Area Joint Authority provides wastewater collection, treatment, reuse, and 
disposal to the Centre Region, comprised of the communities that surround the Borough of State 
College and the Pennsylvania State University (“Penn State”).  Established in the late 1960’s, the 
Authority has led the management of wastewater to a growing community and embraced sustainability 
and a forward thinking approach to wastewater management on a Watershed scale. 

The Authority Beneficial Reuse Project – one of the key parameters of the program, and operational 
since 2005 - has provided hundreds of millions of gallons of potable quality reclaimed wastewater to the 
businesses and environment of the Centre Region. The core structure of this project is the Advanced 
Water Treatment (“AWT”) Facility, housed within the Spring Creek Pollution Control Facility. This 
multistage treatment facility upgrades secondary clarifier wastewater from the existing tertiary 
treatment process, providing a multi-barrier approach consistent with state and federal guidelines for 
indirect potable reuse. While the Authority does not currently provide indirect potable reuse, future 
plans have considered this as an additional facet of the project and the treatment goals of the facility 
mirror those requirements. 

The reclaimed wastewater is stored and distributed to a regional transmission system and has a variety 
of customers that use the water for purposes such as commercial laundries, heating and cooling, 
landscape irrigation, and golf course irrigation. The Authority conducted watershed restoration with the 
reclaimed wastewater, constructing the Gordon D. Kissinger Meadow Project consisting of constructed 
wetlands. The Beneficial Reuse Project transitioned from providing commercial and industrial reuse to a 
stable, year round demand for water reuse to provide environmental enhancement.   

While the primary goal is to provide an enhancement to local water quality, the Authority is also 
investing in green infrastructure to create nutrient and sediment reductions that can provide a 
mechanism for future growth in the Authority Service Area. As a regulated entity for controlling nutrient 
discharges, the Authority has annual mass limits for the discharge of Total Nitrogen and Total 
Phosphorus.  While the Authority has historically provided outstanding treatment, and often is a 
nutrient credit generator, growth within the community constantly reduces the available nutrient 
capacity at the Authority’s wastewater treatment facility. 

Through implementation of the green infrastructure program, UAJA is creating an incentive for the 
development of innovative stormwater treatment projects that can provide municipalities and planning 
agencies in the Centre Region an additional tool to ensure a balanced approach to growth and water 
quality in the Authority’s service area. 

The third major area of Authority innovation is in its award winning Biosolids Composting Facility. The 
Authority combines primary sludge, waste activated sludge, regional sludge, and wood chips to produce 
their “ComposT” soil amendment product. This product has been used in multiple states and facilities 
such as the Cleveland Browns and Congressional Golf Course. The Authority has 100% of its produced 
biosolids placed into the community for commercial landscaping and soil amendment. 

The Authority is a regional entity that has Board Members from five municipalities and participates in a 
regional COG comprised of six municipalities and representatives from the University. These entities 
complete regional planning jointly, allowing the Authority to lead these efforts and reach out into the 
community.  Together, they have established a Regional Growth Boundary, allowing for up-zoning and