Water leaks in Wellsboro area wasting nearly 200,000 gallons per day


WELLSBORO – After officials here noticed a 197,000 gallon discrepancy in the amount of water being used by borough water users on their meters and the amount that was disappearing, Borough Manager Dan Strausser was instructed by the borough municipal authority to hire Utility Management Technologies of Shavertown to conducted a “listening survey” at each fire hydrant along the borough’s water mains to find the source of the leak(s).

The results of that survey were presented to the authority Tuesday.

Noise on Grant Street was determined to be coming from an old 4-inch water main, as well as leaks along service connections on East Avenue where the new Rite Aid was built, Strausser said.

Once opened up, Strausser said the problem was obvious.

“The water just flows out of probably 2inch opening. At other end of line, three links that are leaking line up perfect with buildings that were there before Rite Aid was built,” he added.

Strausser suggested abandoning the old line and reconnecting the water users on Grant Street to an 8-inch water main that runs under the old pipeline.

This would entail going under the street at each service connection as the newer pipe is under the middle of the street.

“We would have to dig down, bore from the curb stops over to the new 8-inch line which is under the road, and we would have to open up each spot where the service is connected,” he said.

Some of the other leaks are property owners’ responsibilities and some are the borough’s and in process of being “taken care of,” he said.

One suspicious noise came from the Packer Park pool area, but disappeared once pumps were shut down for the night. The area will be tested again after the pool is closed for the season, Strausser said.

“My recommendation is to have Larson Design come up with a way to accomplish disconnecting and reconnecting the eight services we have identified from the curb and tie into 8-inch line,” he said.

“We are losing a lot of water, that would be our biggest problem,” he added.

The authority voted unanimously to authorize the design work, see how much it would cost and then decide how to proceed from there.

In other business, authority members:

Heard an update on the new Pall membrane water filter, which is set to be delivered in September, according to Strausser. After ratifying a contract for $21,700, with Black Bear Construction to construct the interior rooms of the new fabric structure to house the new filter, Strausser said he hoped to have the new filter online by mid October.

Heard a cost summary for replacement of influent pumps at the borough’s sewer plant from engineer Alan Zeigler, of Larson Design Group, who reported the cost to be $313,073 with McCrossin, of Bellefonte, providing general and mechanical work at $106,574. Lobar’s bid for general and mechanical was $140,590, about $36,000 more than McCrossin’s, Zeigler said. He expects the work to be started on the new pumps by mid-September.

All work on the two projects was paid for with money from the lease of authority property to EQT for natural gas, authority President Bob DeCamp said.