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Meyersdale, Summit home sellers must pressure test pipes

October 10, 2018

Properties connected to the Meyersdale Borough sewer system that are on the market will soon undergo pressure testing.

During a borough council meeting Tuesday night, solicitor Marc Valentine said that he hopes to have paperwork ready to send to residents by mid-November, informing them about the pressure tests on pipes. The tests will affect properties in the borough and Summit Township.

The township, borough and Meyersdale Municipal Authority have all passed ordinances for the tests.

Valentine said that property owners who want to sell their homes will be charged a $25 fee, allowing the authority to pressure test the pipes using a third party.

Costly construction fees to replace lines under basements could result from failed tests. Valentine said the work would be factored into the home’s selling price.

He said the borough wants to be transparent about the process and make it easier on residents.

“I know there will be issues. I know some people will struggle,” he said. “You want to as much as you can, make it as easy as possible. You’re not going to make it perfect.

“It’s not meant to be a financial impairment to selling a property.”

Municipal authority Superintendent Jeff McKenzie said the tests are being ordered at the recommendation of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

McKenzie said the authority wants to clamp down on sewer system flow rates because a new treatment facility needs to be built at some point. He added that lower rates could affect the cost of that project.

“The lower the flows,” he said, “the smaller the facility.”

Valentine said the system deals with about 6 million gallons of water a day, which, he added, should be significantly lower.

“If we can get rid of all of this unneeded groundwater, it’s going to help us save with sewer costs,” he said. “This will help the borough get into compliance.”

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the borough unanimously finalized a $638,401 2019 general fund budget that keeps the tax rate at 13 mills.

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