Ongoing Water Pressure Problem for Residents Connecting to Water Main Extension Tops CMA Meeting

CLEARFIELD – Water pressure is an ongoing problem for some residents connecting to the Pine Grove water main extension recently completed by Clearfield Municipal Authority.

At Tuesday’s CMA meeting, Knotty Pine Road resident Jeff Ogden said that there was a considerable lack of information from anyone during the project.

He was told at one point that he would have at least 27 psi going into his home, but when the line was connected, it was only 20 to his basement and not enough to get into the rest of the house.

Ogden said he then purchased a booster pump, but there isn’t enough water coming in to it to be effective. He measured the water and determined he is getting about seven gallons a minute.

The next step, he said, will be to purchase a tank to fill and then pump the water from there.

He talked to the state Department of Environmental Protection, which told him that they had little to do with the project, except for supplying the grant money, approving the plans and doing the final inspection.

“How much money do I have to spend to make this work … for something I didn’t want?” Ogden asked, noting that he had perfectly good well water; however, because he was within the mandated 150 feet of the main line, he had to connect.

Engineer Jim Balliet of Gwin, Dobson and Foreman Inc. said that there were definitely communication problems during the project, and the residents were not the only ones experiencing them.

He said that DEP had far larger role than they indicated to Ogden and that CMA had little control over what happened or where the lines or tank went.

Balliet said they knew some people would have low pressure, and some would have very high pressure, and that those people should certainly have been told.

CMA was told by DEP that representatives went door-to-door and talked to people, but Ogden said no one talked to him or any of his neighbors.

Balliet and CMA Manager John Williams both explained that the authority had to fight for some things, such as smaller lines in order to keep the water within regulations and not become stale.

DEP did not communicate well with CMA either. “In the future, it would pay us to have our own inspector on site every day,” Balliet said.

“I don’t want to make excuses,” he added, noting that CMA could have done a much better job communicating as well.

Board members agreed that had residents had a better idea of what was happening, they could have prepared for additional costs.

Chairman Russ Triponey said that he understands that several people are having problems, but it is worth reminding everyone that DEP gave them a multi-million-dollar grant to connect 186 homes, and that if such an opportunity came along again, CMA would take advantage of it.

In other matters, Williams reported to the board that two tanks need to be cleaned and inspected. He called Pittsburgh Tank Cleaning for a price to take care of both the Moose Creek tank and the Mount Joy tank, and was quoted a price of $8,810, which he said was very good.

The company will use a robotic cleaner to go into the tanks and remove sediment, and the tanks will not have to be taken off line to do the work.

Pittsburgh Tank Cleaning is also going to quote a price to remove the old Hillsdale tank and the old Mount Joy tank. CMA will have the metal sold for scrap and might be able to offset the cost.

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