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Borough, township officials confident about water levels

April 26, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Officials are confident that the water and sewer systems in Washington Township, Pa., can support 200 additional homes each year for the next 10 years.

The Washington Township Municipal Authority met with the Waynesboro Borough Authority on Tuesday to discuss the future of their systems, although the Borough of Waynesboro doesn't have booming growth on its horizon like Washington Township.

"We're pretty well built out," Waynesboro Utilities Director S. Leiter Pryor said.

There were 141 houses built in the township in 2005 and 16 in the first three months of this year, Township Supervisor Paul Benchoff said.

"We've started preliminary planning to drill more wells. Right now is time to think about Year 11," said Jeff Geesaman, chairman of the township municipal authority.

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When the Hess well becomes fully operational and permitted in May or June, the township will have eight sources of water from wells and springs. It has approximately 4,000 water customers, officials said.

The Hess well, which is designed to pump 240 gallons a minute, will be the township's biggest water source, Geesaman said.

Waynesboro Borough Authority will continue to develop its only well, along Pa. 316, over the next year, authority Chairman Jon Fleagle said.

He said the borough authority serves approximately 6,300 water customers with an impounding dam that has access to a number of springs.

"A third of our customers are in the township," Pryor said.

The two municipal authorities have been discussing ways to enhance flow to the 159-unit Glen Oaks development adjacent to 84 Lumber. The development remains in planning stages.

Computer models have shown problems with the volume of water during a fire emergency in the Zullinger, Pa., area, officials said.

"The fire flows out there are getting kind of critical," Fleagle said.

The two municipal authorities agreed to present the concerns to the township supervisors. One suggestion was to install a 400-gallon tank at the cost of Zullinger developers.

"There's no use to plan on water if you don't plan on sewer at the same time," Geesaman said.

Waynesboro's sewer plant has a capacity of 1.6 million gallons a day. It operates at 900,000 gallons a day now, with estimates of 1.3 million once area developments are fully built, Pryor and Fleagle said.

"We are ready to start planning an expansion," Geesaman said.

Officials from the township and borough briefly discussed upgrades to the sewer systems to meet nitrogen and phosphorous standards established through the Chesapeake Bay nutrients reduction program from the Environmental Protection Agency.

They also touted the benefits of a provision established during development of the Hess well. Used in an emergency situation where one system would become contaminated or inoperable, a pipe would allow the borough to use the township's system or vice versa.

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