shows the pipe that broke and caused the water problems.
Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:07:05 10:55:12
Andy Matsko/staff photos John Stahl, chairman of the Pine Grove Township Authority, checks the valves in the pump house of well number 2 on Friday at Swatara Village.
John Stahl, chairman of the Pine Grove Township Authority, said Friday that a leak was found in a pipe only about 100 feet from the well.
It was repaired earlier this week, he
"The problem itself isn't extraordinary but because of the people that live in these communities, it has gotten a lot of attention," Stahl
"It's tough because sometimes they don't understand the advisory."
The well will not be put into operation, however, until two separate tests, 24 hours apart, are completed, as required by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
also said a backup generator is being repaired, which needs to be done before the well is turned back on.
hopes to have residents drinking the water again sometime next week.
said an eight-inch sewer line was found crossing right over the three-inch water line where the leak was found.
"The pressure over the years eventually caused it to crack, who knows when," Stahl
"This well could no longer keep up with the loss of water."
Even after fixing the leak, Stahl
said the well, which holds 35,000 gallons, may still be approaching its limit.
"We've been spending a lot of time and money trying to get a reliable second source online," Stahl
DEP granted approval to temporarily use a second well in the village for bathing, washing clothes or flushing toilets, but it can only be used for drinking after boiling the water.
The second well, which holds 70,000 gallons, is still waiting on an operation permit from DEP.
"Unfortunately, we've been in that process with DEP for about a year and half," Stahl
said the well was drilled about eight years ago but when the township took over the retirement village in 2011, it had to reapply for the permit.
"We didn't hear from DEP until Thursday," Stahl
Before the second well can go into full operation, Stahl
said it must run 5,000 gallons through a filter and have a DEP lab analyze it.
said a decision has yet to be made if the communities want to stay on the second well or switch back to the first one, which can supply about half as much water.
hopes to have public participation taken into consideration before a decision is made.
Meanwhile, the township is moving forward with plans to install a 100,000-gallon tank across Route 443 as a reserve for the system.
The tank would hold a three-day reserve supply for the system.
"The tank gives us extra capacity to meet our current demand and if it goes well, we won't have to worry about a storm.
If anything fails, we still have water," Stahl
said the plan also includes extending the water line 4,000 feet and putting seven fire hydrants in the area.
Construction is set to begin July 12 and a state H20 Grant is being used to fund the project.
"Hopefully, in the next three or four months, we have the tank and those pipes put in," Stahl
Not only would this decrease fire insurance for residents and nearby businesses, Stahl
also said it could encourage commercial development in the area.
"Development is still waiting on public water supply.
Before coming in, (businesses) would always ask 'Do you have a public water supply?' That always kills the deal," Stahl
"It's essential to hook up the businesses and extend across the road."
All the businesses in the area, including restaurants and three hotels, had to drill their own wells for water, Stahl
The borough almost extended its water lines into the township several years ago.
After the Pine Grove area was hit hard by several storms in 2006, about $1 million federal grant was available for the project, Stahl
also said McDonald's
was going to contribute $20,000 to the project and the Hampton Inn, which was still under construction at the time, would have contributed the $50,000 it cost to drill its own well.
"The borough refused to cooperate and someone else got the money," Stahl