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CTMA trying to meet state water order

August 28, 2018

The Conemaugh Township Municipal Authority decided Monday to find part-time help to make state-mandated improvements to the township’s water system.

Municipal authority members are looking for two part-time employees to look for leaks in the water lines. Officials said this is in response to the Department of Environmental Protection ordering the authority to be in compliance with state regulations. Chairman Mark Blasko said the lines are losing 35 percent of the water. DEP requires the authority to be at 20 percent or lower. “I understand the plan has already been written, but we haven’t implemented anything,” he said. “We’re not going to make the 20 percent by the October deadline, but we are making progress and that is what they want to see.”

Manager Charles Carrico said there are currently four township workers, all of whom are stretched thin with other projects. “We know how much water we purchase. We know how much water we produce, and we know how much water is sold,” he said. “All we have to do is find where the leaks are.”

Carrico said authority workers fixed four leaks this month and a total of 16 for the year.

Officials are already sending DEP a plan to comply with the regulatory agency’s rules, which will include leak detection. The department requires a plan to be in place by the end of October.

Authority members said workers may have to work overnight to get everything done.

“We have to show progress,” Blasko said. “We can’t just say, ‘We have a plan,’ and walk away. We have to make progress.”

Blasko added that he was thinking of attending Hooversville Borough’s public meeting discussing a proposed three-way water deal with the authority to get the borough Quemahoning Reservoir water. The borough is planning a meeting at 6 p.m. today in the community building to inform people about the project. Under the proposed deal, the Somerset County General Authority would sell reservoir water to the borough through municipal authority water lines. The township would charge the borough 50 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, and the general authority would charge $2.79 per 1,000.

Blasko said that for now the authority is waiting to see what the borough’s next steps are, but the authority is ready to move forward.

“We’re onboard,” Blasko said.

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