The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 10, 2013

Water line will extend to Twin Lakes Road

Justin Dennis
jdennis@tribdem.com

PORTAGE — Portage Township is preparing to pump something fresh into the Twin Lakes Road area: city water.

The board voted to adopt an ordinance that would replace aged water line infrastructure across Route 53 and Jamestown Road, fixing up Twin Lakes residents with new hydrants and taps to replace their well water supplies. The decision came at a special supervisors meeting Tuesday morning.

“Everybody down in Twin Lakes, their wells are being influenced by the Hughes Borehole,” said Ron Cadwallader, manager of Portage Municipal Water Authority.

The borehole is a major contributor to acid mine drainage into the Little Conemaugh River.

The township engaged the state Department of Environmental Protection, which took samples of residents’ wells and qualified the township for a pass-through grant to fix the affected lines.

But that’s not the only free money in play. Nearly $1 million will come from leftover stimulus funds from a Rural Utility Services project in the Martindale and Spring Hill area.

According to Cadwallader, the line replacement work was plotted out in the authority’s 10-year redevelopment plan, which began in early 2000 and is being updated to reflect current issues. He said the authority already has “knocked out a good bit of it.”

Cadwallader estimated that 20 to 30 people live on Twin Lakes Road, but the addition of city water lines could open up new opportunities to expand the customer base.

“Every 1,000 feet, there’ll be a new hydrant and there’ll be new taps put in for everybody along that stretch,” Cadwallader said. “I’ve already had inquiries from people that own property or are looking at property down there or building.

“It’s not gonna really give them that much more pressure, but (will) give the volume for fire protection,” he said. “Nobody’s going to see a difference when they turn their spigots on. (It’s) just to get better water quality for an infrastructure that’s been there for a long time that needs to be replaced.”

Cadwallader said the project is expected to be completed by late August or early September. Crews are preparing Jamestown Road for a line to be bored underneath Route 53, which will extend down Sportsman’s Road and onto Twin Lakes Road.

Residents will be notified at their doors on the day their service is scheduled to be switched over.

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