Authority authorizes cost-overages

Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority Wednesday approved change-orders adding to the cost of two capital improvement projects and reducing one.

Two of the projects for which more costs were approved were on Trenton Avenue, a water main replacement in the city requiring more pipe fittings and valves, $140,000; and a storm-water sewer modification at Sulphur Springs Road near South Williamsport, $24,134. A main replacement on Four Mile Drive was reduced in cost by $129,359 with not as many materials needed as anticipated, said Charles Hauser, authority director of engineering.

The authority has to repair a safety railing at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant for $10,000 and a platform at the clarifier section of the plant for $5,000, Hauser said.

In another matter, a water main break under Mosquito Valley Creek at Brook Street in South Williamsport was up to 14 feet lower than authority equipment could reach. So, the authority brought in a contractor’s equipment to repair the emergency break at a cost of  $22,775.

Authority member Eiderson Dean asked whether the authority might consider buying equipment to deal with main breaks that are below the level current equipment can handle.

“That’s being looked at,” said Douglas Keith, authority executive director.

In other business, the authority received permission to seek at $375,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development toward a $445,000 project to replace a water main at Mosquito Valley Road. That grant amount would be 84 percent of the project cost, Keith said.

In the authority water supply report, the authority is selling 4.5 million gallons per day and has 9.7 million gallons in storage. Despite last week’s deluge, there is a 9-inch rainfall deficit for the year, although over the last three months the deficit is 2 inches below normal, said Wendy Walter, authority director of safety and compliance.

During the heavy rain that resulted in recent flash flooding, the authority shut its well field down due to turbidity and discussed reopening the well field now that the streams have returned to relatively normal.