HARRISBURG – More than $4.2 million in state financing will benefit drinking water projects in Knox, New Bethlehem and Rimersburg, according to an announcement today by state Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) and Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango/Clarion/Butler/Forest/Warren). The funding was awarded Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVEST).
In the project for Knox Borough, $2.42 million will replace the joint pipe with 7,600 feet of eight-inch diameter plastic pipe. This will affect 106 service connections, seven hydrants and 34 main line water valves. This includes a $1.478 million grant and a $941,000 low-interest loan.
“The current system contains a cast iron main having lead joints, service connections and components, with the main having reached its useful life expectancy and now experiencing frequent breaks and leaks,” said Hutchinson. “The removal of lead components from the system will eliminate potential contaminants and reduce health concerns for customers, while also improving system reliability and reducing operation and maintenance costs.”
“More than 700 residents – nearly half the town’s residents – will benefit from this upgraded service,” Oberlander said. “Not only will new lines and connections in this area of South Main and Petrolia streets lead to safer drinking water but will enhance the borough’s overall infrastructure.”
Two grant and loan awards will go to the southern end of the county.
Redbank Valley Municipal Authority will be awarded $830,800 to replace more than 1,000 aged service meter connections. This will allow the authority to better track water usage, as the older meters are estimated to account for 25% of a significant water loss. This includes a $56,000 low-interest loan and a $774,431 grant.
“The system’s 1,088 service meters have not only reached the end of their useful life, but they also contain lead components,” said Hutchinson. “Replacing the meters will eliminate the risk of lead exposure to customers, significantly reduce the unaccounted-for system water loss and improve and more accurately record water conservation in the communities served by the system.”
“This project will impact residents in all five of the municipalities served by the authority and is designed to better track water usage across the system,” Oberlander said. “Accurate tracking and record keeping are essential to ensuring a good water supply, and this grant and loan package will allow the authority to do so.”
Finally, Rimersburg Borough will use nearly $1 million to replace 1,900 feet of four-inch cast iron water mains with 8-inch and 12-inch plastic mains. This will include areas at the intersection of Chestnut and Cherry streets, extend into the intersection of Cherry Run and Main Street, continue to Main Street and Mill Alley and then connect to the intersections at Eccles and Lawsonham streets and Eccles Street and Mill Alley.
“Replacing the system’s existing cast iron water lines, lead joints and lead gooseneck connections, all of which are deteriorating and near the end of their useful lives, will reduce potential contaminants in the system’s water while also improving system reliability,” Hutchinson said.
“Two-thirds of the financing awarded will be with grant funds, so that will help minimize the impact on local residents,” Oberlander said. “All of these areas receiving grant and loan funds from the state are in serious need of health and safety upgrades for their systems. I applaud them for seeking out this funding to help their local communities.”
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton