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Bakersville woman looking for source of flooding

December 7, 2018

Bonnie Direnzo was thrilled two years ago when her West Bakersville-Edie Road home was being connected to a public water source.

But now her driveway is constantly flooded from water bubbling up through a well cap in her yard and no one seems to be able to discover why it is happening. She has lived at the home for 50 years.

“The fact that nobody can do anything about it — it is just disgusting,” she said. “I have a granddaughter, and we are out in the slop all the time.”

Puddles that are several inches deep are typical driveway obstacles, she said.

“My son brought up shale and I would fill it in,” she said. “I went through at least a ton or better.”

She also raised the slab below the steps to her house to protect against the water. In the summer, her property is soggy, and in the winter, cold days turn her driveway into a virtual ice rink. She has noticed other areas, like the intersection near CoGo’s along Route 31, where standing water collects. One theory she has is that there is an artesian well across the street. There used to be four homes there until they were bought and demolished. She said that after she was hooked into the Jefferson Township public water system, she capped her wells. She now thinks excess water is following the water line and coming up in her yard.

Jefferson Township Supervisor Lee Fritz said that the road belongs to the state and the lines belong to the Jefferson Township Water Authority, so the supervisors are not able to help.

“It’s a problem and nobody wants to take responsibility,” he said. “I don’t blame her for wanting help. It’s gone on long enough.”

Jefferson Township Water Authority manager Donald Fritz said the authority does not know what is causing the water to surface.

“I think there is a pipe under the road because the water main comes down the opposite side of the road,” he said. “Excessive water lays in that property across the road and is draining through that pipe. I don’t know why it lays wet all summer and different times out there.”

Fritz said he asked Direnzo and her son to come to a water authority meeting to speak with the entire board.

State Department of Transportation Somerset County Maintenance Manager Joe Kelemen said he does not place blame on anyone for the water problem in that area; however, he said he inspected the road Wednesday and does not believe that water runs under it. “That road is 4 or 5 years old,” he said. “If there was water running under the road, it would break up that road.” He said there is some water near CoGo’s, but they do not consider that a safety issue. He said if water was under the road, they would do a base repair. Direnzo just wants help. “I am not looking for anything for free, but there has to be something that can be done,” she said.

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