The ARWA was founded as a municipal authority by joint acts of Clarks Summit Borough and South Abington Township in 1967. Clarks Green joined later and the authority was re-organized in 2011 to give each municipality at least one board seat, scaled by population.

Board members are appointed to 5-year terms on the Authority Boars by their municipal council or supervisors.

Once formed, the Authority functions as an independent agency of the Commonwealth charged with the operation and maintenance of the treatment facility and the interceptor lines. For clarification: The Collection System is the grid of pipes under streets that brings waste to the plant. That system remains the property and responsibility of the constituent municipalities.

Here is the legal citation that defines a municipal authority:
In 1 Pa.C.S. § 1991, “Local authority” is defined as follows: “When used in any statute finally enacted on or after January 1, 1975, a municipal authority or any other body corporate and politic created by one or more political subdivisions pursuant to statute.” Although considered to be local authorities, municipal authorities are bodies politic and corporate, created pursuant to the Municipality Authorities Act, 53 Pa.C.S. Chapter 56; they are not creatures, agents or representatives of the municipalities that organize them, but are independent agencies of the Commonwealth. Municipal authorities are separate legal entities from the polit¬ical subdivisions that created them and they derive their powers from different statutes. See Commonwealth v. Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, 444 Pa. 345, 348-349, 281 A.2d 882, 884 (1971), and O’Hare v. County of Northampton, 782 A.2d 7, 13 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001).