Mont alto water project gets federal money

February 26, 2002|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

MONT ALTO, Pa. - U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., is to bring to Mont Alto today $250,000 for improvements to the borough's public water system.

The money will go toward construction of the borough's first water storage tank and the cost of digging a new back-up well for the 650-customer system.

It's the third time in as many months that Shuster, from Hollidaysburg, has handed out federal money to southern Franklin County communities. In December, Waynesboro got $160,000 for road improvements while Greencastle and Antrim Township will share $700,000 for projects there.

P. Edward Nunemaker, who manages Mont Alto's public water system, said no decision has been made on the size of the new tank. He said it could run from 600,000 gallons to 700,000 gallons. The system uses a little more than 100,000 gallons a day.


Water in the tank will have already been treated.

The borough's new well is nearly ready for testing, Nunemaker said. It's expected to produce about 100,000 gallons a day.

The new well is causing concern among Quincy Township residents who fear it will draw down water from their own wells, Nunemaker said.

Mont Alto officials and the Quincy Township Supervisors have scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue.

Nunemaker doesn't think the well will affect nearby residents' water supplies. "We don't want to run anybody out of water, but we're confident that we can pump 100,000 gallons a day," he said.

The well will be a backup to the existing well and spring that supply the borough's reservoir with raw water.

Two weeks ago, Mont Alto residents were advised to boil water after sediment got into the system.

The problem was caused by the drought, Nunemaker said. The pump had to draw water from a new underground cavity that stirred up the silt that entered the system.

The problem was solved by cutting the gallons per day pumped from the well from 110 gallons-per-minute to 64 gallons-per-minute. The boil-water advisory was lifted three days later.

Nunemaker said Monday the system is maintaining itself at 64 gallons-per-minute.

The borough had also stopped selling water to private haulers who were buying 35,000 gallons a day. The haulers sell water to the hundreds of area residents who depend on home cisterns for their water.

Nunemaker said Monday that the borough has resumed water sales to the haulers on a limited basis of about 20,000 gallons per day.

Shuster, said the money will provide the borough with a more secure water supply. It represents about 40 percent of the projects' total cost.

"This funding will not only help secure the water supply, which is very important considering these dry times, it will also help ratepayers save money," he said in prepared remarks.

Shuster will make the announcement at the Mont Alto Water Plant Building at 6100 Staley Road at 2 p.m. today.

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