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Springdale water plant upgrades expected to boost rates a few more cents

August 17, 2018

Springdale Council will consider this month taking out a $7.4 million PennVest loan to cover the costs of its water plant improvements.

The improvement is expected to increase water rates for customers by less than 2 percent.

The borough was previously approved for a $5.5 million PennVest loan to cover the project. The state’s PennVest program provides low interest loans for water and sewer infrastructure projects.

But officials had to apply for more money after bids came in about 43 percent higher than the project’s estimated construction cost.

That brings the total loan amount to $7.4 million.

Council is expected to vote on the loan at its Aug. 21 meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. at the borough municipal building, 325 School St.

Councilman David Spirk, who oversees the water department, said the loan is expected to be finalized Sept. 12.

Water bill to rise slightly

Borough officials originally hoped the project wouldn’t raise rates but, with the new cost estimates, residents will see water rates increase by 14 cents per 1,000 gallons in addition to the $3 in increases council approved for the project over the past two years.

Borough officials estimate the average monthly water use for a residential customer is about 3,400 gallons.

The average monthly water bill, which was $25.64 will rise to $26.12 with the additional charge.

The average yearly bill would rise from the current $307.68 to $313.44, an increase of about 1.87 percent.

He said officials are happy to have been approved for the additional PennVest funding.

“These are definitely things that we needed to do in order to keep supplying water,” Spirk said.

Spirk said the project is expected to start this fall and take about a year.

The borough is required to make the upgrades by the state Department of Environmental Protection because problems with the plant’s filtration system and aging pipes have resulted in high manganese levels and residents getting discolored water in their homes.

The project’s plant upgrades include installation of two high-pressure water filters that are expected to put an end to the discolored water. Along with the new filters, other renovations include: new pumps, an updated chemical feed system, a new filter house and fencing around the plant with electronic gates.

It also includes installation of 5,800 feet of new PVC water pipe along Colfax Street from Pittsburgh Street up to the water tanks, 2,000 feet of pipe along James Street from Pittsburgh to Marion Street and 2,550 feet along Rosslyn Avenue from Porter Street to Elwyn Avenue and 10,000 feet of new waterline.

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