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Public Works

This department has four main divisions, streets, recreation, water and sewer.  The Public Works crew handles all the regular activities.  Larger, or specialized, projects are performed by independent contractors. The Borough Manager oversees this department and several Council committees provide general guidance to the various divisions.

Public Works takes care of everything on the streets.  Their responsibilities include snow removal, street cleaning, street signs, pothole patching and storm sewer maintenance.  The crew handles all these tasks as well as assisting other departments and non-Borough organizations with preparation for and cleanup after special events. 

Public Works is also responsible for the Water and Sewer Lines in located in the public right of ways. Property owners are responsible for Water and Sewer laterals from the curb to their homes or businesses.


While large street resurfacing and construction projects are contracted out, credit for most of what gets done on the streets goes to this team. The Public Works Committee of Council oversees this division.

Water Department 

Catasauqua’s drinking water comes entirely from three municipally owned and operated ground water
sources (wells). All are located within 1,200 feet of the Catasauqua water plant at Walnut and Saint John
Streets. Each day we produce approximately 500,000 gallons of drinking water for our customers.
It is disinfected by the addition of chlorine.  The water is then sent to our two storage tanks, with a combined capacity of nearly 800,000 gallons; it is then pumped through the distribution system to our residents.

The water department is required to submit an annual Consumer Confidence Report to DEP and make it available to the public. The 2024 Report is available here.

Sewer Department 

The Borough of Catasauqua’s 2.25MGD wastewater facility treats sanitary sewage and industrial wastewater from the Borough of Catasauqua, the Borough of North Catasauqua, Hanover Township (Lehigh County) and Hanover Township (Northhampton County) and some of Allen Township’s industrial areas.

The facility is located at 18 West Race Street along the Lehigh River. The facility is manned by four full time employees (operator, assistant operator and two laborers) and one part time employee (the pretreatment coordinator).

The treatment type is described as secondary which consists of solids removed by settling and dissolved solids reduction by biological means. Wastewater flows to the plant and initially goes through the Rotomat fine screen which removes rags, plastic and other debris from the wastestream. The wastewater is then pumped to an aerated grit chamber by means of three raw pumps. The aerated grit chamber removes the heavier grit from the wastestream. Rags and grit are disposed of in a landfill.

Degritted wastewater flows to our two primary settling tanks where 60-65% of suspended solids are settled and pumped to the anaerobic digestion process. Heating and mixing in the primary digester reduces solids volume further through bacterial action. Methane, a product of this process, is used to fuel the sludge heater. The remaining sludge is sent to the secondary digester which provides for further settling prior to the belt press process; this process “presses” water out of the sludge to make it suitable for landfilling.

Wastewater from the primary settling tanks is pumped to the roughing filter. The roughing filter consists of a center-column with distribution arms which distributes wastewater over plastic media. The plastic media provides for a substrate which bacteria will attach. The bacteria break down and reduce carbonaceous material(reducing Biochemical Oxygen Demand by 75%) Effluent from the roughing filter is pumped to the polishing filter which removes most of the remaining carbonaceous material and removes approx. 60% of  ammonia nitrogen.

Part of the effluent from the polishing filter is circulated to the head of the roughing filter to recycle bacteria and provide a more even flow rate. The remaining polishing filter effluent is chlorinated and split between two final settling tanks. The light solids are settled and returned to the head of the plant. The clarified wastewater flows to a channel which conveys the treated wastewater to the Lehigh River. The wastewater is sampled at the channel and is tested for NPDES parameters using state and federal guidelines.

The U.S. EPA approved the Borough of Catasauqua Industrial Pretreatment Program(IPP) on November 1985. The Borough of Catasauqua developed and implemented the legal and and administrative framework to operate their municipal IPP.
Working with the legal and administrative framework previously established, the Borough began to permit and regulate significant industrial dischargers as well as those suspected of contributors of toxic elements. Inspections of industrial users are conducted throughout the year. Monitoring of the users’ discharge is done as well. In October 2004 the Borough’s pretreatment program was awarded “National First Place Cleanwater Act Recognition Award for Pretreatment Program Excellence.”