AUBURN BOROUGH, SCHUYLKILL COUTNY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Someone vandalized a water supply tower, and now a health advisory is issued for hundreds of people in part of Schuylkill County.
Auburn officials say its water may not be safe.
Supervisor Rick Westner with Auburn Municipal Authority says he discovered the water storage tank was vandalized Sunday morning. He came up cemetery road to clean the snow off the solar panel on top of the tank.
“I saw the footprints in there and someone had apparently climbed over the six foot fence with the barbed wire on top then got around the bottom of the ladder where it’s blocked off and crawled along the side to get up top and tore the vent off the top,” said Westner.
PSP Schuylkill Haven came out to investigate. Their report says there were two suspects who went over the fence, climbed up on top of the tank and broke off the vent, which opens up to the borough’s water supply. Troopers say it happened between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Westner says he saw their footprints in the snow on the top of the tank.
“We don’t know whether they may have put something in the water or not so to be on the safe side we had to issue a “do not consume,” and right now we’re still working on isolating it. Once we get that done we have to test it. So, it could be two or three days yet until we’re done,” said Westner.
He says this impacts the entire borough.
“The tank can hold about 300,000 gallons of water and serves about 900 people,” said Westner.
Luckily the problem didn’t go unnoticed for too long.
“If it wouldn’t have been for the snow, I wouldn’t have been up here for three, four, five days or a week but since I had the snow on Friday, I came up here to clean it off,” said Westner.
Auburn Municipal Authority will notify water customers when the tests are complete and the water is certified safe to drink.