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Water costs double in Mont Alto

December 19, 2000

Water costs double in Mont Alto



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


MONT ALTO, Pa. - Water rates for the 1,600 customers of the Mont Alto Municipal Authority have nearly doubled to pay for needed improvements in the system that serves more than 1,500 Mont Alto customers, another 75 in Quincy Township and 15 in Guilford Township.

Under the new rate system, customers will see their bills go up from $2.22 per 1,000 gallons to $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

The rate hike was approved in November but customers won't see the higher rates reflected in their bills until January. Meters are being read this month for the January billing cycle.

Paul Nunemaker, maintenance supervisor for the borough, said this is the first rate hike since the early 1990s. New mandates ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are requiring costly construction projects to bring the system up to modern standards.

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Water sources for the system come from the Pearl of the Park Spring on the foot of South Mountain - which provides 50,000 gallons per day - along with a well that produces another 750,000 gallons, Nunemaker said. The state is ordering the system to drill a new well with a flow equal to what already exists, he said.

An 800-foot test well has already been dug. It will serve as a monitoring well for a new production well that is being drilled to serve the system.

The new production well will feed into a 12-inch pipe. Nunemaker said the drilling has reached 140 feet so far. The projected cost of drilling the well will be about $65,000, he said. "That doesn't include the cost of the well house or the pump," he said.

Other costs will be incurred to acquire rights of way and construction of about 1,200 feet of pipe from the new well to the existing water system. A new storage tank will also be constructed.

An existing reservoir holds a three-day supply, Nunemaker said.

Earlier this year the borough merged its public water and sewer boards into a single Mont Alto Municipal Authority in a cost-savings and simplification move.

The merger won't be complete until sometime next year when the old sewer board wraps up a $700,000 upgrade of its system.

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