(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Good news for people who live in one part of Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County. Aqua Pennsylvania held a ribbon-cutting for the new Sun Valley Water System.
Customers in the area had been on a boil water advisory since 2016. State officials and Aqua Pennsylvania teamed up to replace the system using nearly three million dollars in grants and loans.
The new system has been running for about a month. It also has a backup generator in case of a power outage so service is not interrupted.
Aqua Pennsylvania Press Release
Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca was joined today by Pennsylvania Sen. Mario Scavello and Rep. Jack Rader for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the complete reconstruction of the Sun Valley water system in Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County. Aqua said both state officials were key in enabling the company to provide quality water and reliable service to a community that had been on a boil water advisory since early 2016.
“Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, including the death of the previous owner, this community suffered through unsafe drinking water, low water pressure, frequent power outages and overall unreliable service,” said Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca. “When we got the call from Sen. Scavello and Rep. Rader, we knew we had to help. Together, the two secured $1.6 million in PenvVEST grants and $1.2 million in other loans, which enabled us to rehabilitate the entire water system.”
Chestnuthill Township made an application to the PA Housing Finance Agency in October of 2017 for Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) grant funding to address replacement of water service lines on private property, which are typically the responsibility of the property owner and were not eligible to be covered under Aqua’s PENNVEST grant or loan. PHARE grant funds in the amount of $150,000 were awarded to Chestnuthill Township and then transferred to Aqua to aid in addressing non-PENNVEST eligible costs.
Construction of the new water system began during the winter of 2018 and was completed this month. The system rehabilitation included installation of approximately 3,700 feet of 6-inch and, 2,700 feet of 4-inch ductile iron water main; 4,000 feet of 2-inch polyethylene water main, along with associated distribution system infrastructure including valves and curb boxes where the distribution system and service lines are adjoined. A new well house, well pump, and a 10,000-gallon water storage tank were constructed replacing the old dilapidated facilities. A portable generator is available to power the facility during outages.
Lucca said the need for the infrastructure work that Aqua Pennsylvania was able to complete at Sun Valley, and in other areas throughout the state, is well documented by the EPA’s most recent Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. It states that $472 billion of improvements are needed through 2034 to address thousands of miles of pipes and thousands of treatment plants, storage tanks and water distribution systems to ensure the public health, security, and the economic well-being of cities, towns and communities.
The American Society of Civil Engineers 2018 Infrastructure Report Card for Pennsylvaniagraded the state’s water systems a D. Citing the report Lucca said, “The report card referenced a 2018 nationwide study that found that water main breaks have increased by 27 percent since 2012. The study also found that breaks on cast iron pipe, which make up the majority of Pennsylvania’s water mains, had increased by 43 percent during the same period.”
The Sun Valley project is just one of many that make up Aqua’s $18.4 million 2019 capital program for its White Haven Division, which provides water and wastewater service to more than 20,000 people in parts of Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Carbon counties. Overall, the company serves approximately 1.4 million people in 32 counties throughout Pennsylvania. VisitAquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.