Mehoopany water customers come up dry
BY TOM FONTANA
Wyoming County Press Examiner
A water problem in Mehoopany Twp. has been corrected – at least temporarily.
Several residents experienced a drastic drop in water pressure or loss of running tap water starting in the afternoon on Friday, Feb. 8.
Water use was returned to normal by the next afternoon.
Steve Comstock, chairman of the Mehoopany Twp. Municipal Authority, said the disruption of service was caused by a flow-reducing valve installed to meet State Department of Environmental Protection standards.
“When we upgraded the water system last year,” Comstock explained, “DEP required a lowering of the amount of water pumped per minute from 15 gallons to 4.8 gallons.”
Comstock said water service was returned to normal late Saturday by removing the valve.
According to Comstock, the Authority received county grant funds last year used to upgrade the water system, which included a new above-ground reservoir tank and pump house equipment. He said the DEP restriction of pumping 4.5 gallons of water per minute is “to make sure water and chlorine are in contact long enough for disinfection before the water reaches the taps in homes.”
“For DEP to consider approval of our former 15 gallon pump,” Comstock said, “we would have to have a geologic survey done to show the current pump can handle 15 gallons per minute. We’re a small organization and can’t afford to pay for a survey.”
The Mehoopany Twp. Municipal Authority is a private group, and not part of the township government. It serves about 30 properties, many of which are rentals. Authority officials are volunteers, including Comstock (chairman), Carl Bedford (vice chairman), and Loren Day (secretary).
Comstock said a new pump was installed five or six years ago, with a 15-gallon-per-minute capacity that was the same make and model of the old pump which had been serving the authority for more than 20 years.