WTAJ Originals: Local water authority making strides; dirty water part of growing pains

Daily Originals

Just over a year ago, Mountaintop Regional Water Authority, which serves Snow Shoe, Moshannon, Clarence, and Pine Glen in northern Centre County, was not in a good position.

“We were in critical condition, our tanks were just about empty, our wells were cavitating which means the water level above the pumps was too low, we were sucking air,” said Jim Yost. “We were about out of water.”

Issues caused by what Water Authority Chairman Jim Yost calls over-pumpage of water, which he said was needed due to leaks in service lines.

But now Yost says the Water Authority is in much better shape.

“We’ve installed meters to help us find leaks, and we’ve installed pressure reducers to reduce pressure to relieve leaks,” he said.

There are still many smaller local service lines that need to be repaired with those pressure reducers, which requires shutting them off, which stirs up sediment in the water.

What is hardest on residents is that there’s often little time for warning when a line breaks and needs to be repaired.

Yost says it’s hard to notify everyone properly.

“We have a swift reach program that we try to call…and we’ve tried to update that, but we don’t have all the phone numbers either,” Yost said.

Some residents are looking for Mountaintop to post updates on their website or through a text alert system if a water line has to be  shut off.

But Yost says there’s limited funding to make the neeeded repairs and a new tech system isn’t financially feasible at the moment.

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