How was Camden City chosen as the site of the main plant?

Locating the main treatment plant in Camden made sense because:

Federal and state water quality regulations require advanced (also called “tertiary”) treatment of
wastewater which will be discharged into small streams like the interior streams of the county –
Big Timber Creek, Cooper River, Great Egg Harbor River, Mullica River, and Pennsauken
Creek. Wastewater which will be discharged into large streams – like the Delaware River – needs
only “secondary” treatment. Tertiary treatment is much more expensive to build and operate than
secondary treatment.

As a result, it was cheaper and better for the environment to locate the main plant to discharge
into the Delaware River rather than into one of the small interior streams of Camden County.
(Average flow in the Delaware River is 4 billion gallons (15 billion liters) per day. The Cooper
River, perhaps the biggest interior stream, has a flow of 35 million gallons (132 million liters)
per day. Our average daily discharge of 50 – 60 million gallons (190 – 227 million liters) per day
is less than 2% of the total Delaware River flow passing our main plant!)

Before the CCMUA was created, there were four plants in Camden County which discharged
into the Delaware River. The Camden City plant had a capacity of 53 million gallons (200
million liters) per day. The second largest plant could only process 7 million gallons (26 million
liters) per day.

For these reasons, the CCMUA purchased and upgraded the original main Camden City plant.