Below you will find answers to some of Dover Township’s most Frequently Asked Questions:
Sewage, also called wastewater, is the contaminated water from homes, schools, and businesses. It comes from toilets, showers, clothes washers, dishwashers, etc. The contaminants include fecal matter, urine, soaps, detergents, food particles, hair, rags, paper, toys, dead goldfish, and anything else that is disposed in a drain. A person creates an average of 60 to 100 gallons of wastewater every day. Sewers are a network of pipes that bring the sewage to the treatment plant for treatment. Treatment is the continual process of removing the contaminants from the wastewater and then processing the removed contaminants into a product that can be safely recycled.
A wastewater treatment plant cleans the water so it can be safely returned to the environment. It removes various solids, which includes everything from rags and sticks to sand and smaller particles found in wastewater. It reduces organic material and pollutants by the controlled action of helpful bacteria and other microorganisms that consume organic matter in wastewater. The bacteria and microorganisms are then separated from the water and then disinfected. The process also restores oxygen to the water to ensure the water has enough oxygen to support life in our creeks, rivers, and lakes.
Wastewater treatment usually consists of physical, chemical and biological actions in some various combinations to efficiently and cost-effectively clean the water and treat the removed material. The size and type of the treatment units are very specific to the quantity and characteristics of the wastewater.
This facility is located at 851 Graffius Road, York, PA 17404. The Dover Township plant is physically located in Conewago Township and has a York mailing address. Please click here for directions.
This treatment plant has a design capacity to treat an average of 8 million gallons per day and consists of a sewage grinder, pumps, grit removal systems, Biological Nutrient Removal Carrousel systems, final clarifiers, and ultraviolet light disinfection. The removed contaminants, called sludge, are thickened, aerobically stabilized, and dewatered prior to disposal. More information can be found on the WWTP pages.
Sludge is a generic term for the solids removed from any plant. These solids are treated at this facility by aerobic digestion. This is a natural biological process that utilizes existing bacteria to stabilize the solids. The stabilized sludge, called biosolids, must meet many strict State and Federal requirements before it can be applied to farmland. The liquid biosolids are pumped to the belt filter press where it is dewatered to approximately 16% solids concentration. The dewatered biosolids have a look of a “moist brownie” and has a slightly earthy/slightly musty odor.
The wastewater treatment system is owned by the Dover Township Sewer Authority and is leased to Dover Township to operate and maintain the system. Plant operation is done by highly trained and certified operators who are employees of Dover Township. After a thorough training and exam process, operators are licensed by Pennsylvania DEP.
The plant has a diesel-powered emergency generator.
No, the plant is only staffed one shift per day. The plant is continually monitored by computers with a complex alarm system. The rotating on-call plant operators must responded to alarms and get to the plant within 30 minutes.
All treatment plants are permitted and regulated by various state and federal agencies, mostly the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and EPA. These agencies, through the permitting systems, define how and what must be done. The plant must report to these agencies with very specific reporting procedures. For example, DEP get a monthly report from the plant called the discharge monitoring report. This detailed report contains the analyses and flows. This report must be signed and attested to under penalty of law (fines and imprisonment) that this report is “true, accurate, and complete”.
Here is the link to on-line reports via DEP:
Dispose of household products safely. Don’t pour solvents, pesticides, paint thinners, engine oil, or household cleaning products with hazardous chemicals down the drain or into a storm sewer. Take them to a recycling center or hazardous waste collection site. Cooking oils and grease should be collected in a container, covered, and disposed of as solid waste. Fats, oils, and grease collect in the sewer system and are a major cause of blockages and sewage back-ups.
Use fertilizers and pesticides carefully—and only as directed. Try to find safe alternatives to products that can harm water supplies. Be informed. Learn about your local wastewater treatment system as well as water supplies and any possible threats your water supply and environment faces. Know what your community is doing to protect your environment and water supply. Help other citizens be aware of the importance of clean water in your community.
Tours of the plant can be arranged by calling the plant at (717) 292-4911, ext. 21. Please call at least 2 weeks ahead to make sure that safe and proper arrangements can be made to facilitate your group. For safety sake, tours are only given during daylight hours and in dry weather. We welcome tours from school groups, scouts, and other organizations. The plant usually has an open house in September with tours and demonstrations. Check the WWTP part of the website for more information.
No. We can only test our wastewater for the parameters approved by PADEP.
No, we cannot accept wastes from RVs, campers or motorhomes.
The township taxes do not pay for the cost of utilities (water and sewer). The utilities are paid totally by users’ fees. Treatment costs for septic and holding tank wastes must be paid for by the contracting haulers. It’s not fair for township residents that pay a sewer fee to subsidize residents that are not hooked into the sewer.