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Staff Writer 

Williamsburg Authority Wins State Loan for Water System

$4.3 Million Will Upgrade and Extend Existing System


The Williamsburg Municipal Authority has been awarded a $4.3 million loan to be used for upgrades to the borough's aging water system.

The low-interest loan through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) was obtained with the aid of state Sen. Judy Ward and state Rep. Jim Gregory.

"We are so pleased that Williamsburg was able to get these dollars," Ward said. "This kind of funding means a lot to this community."

Williamsburg Borough Manager Joseph Lansberry said the funds will be used to replace some of the water lines in the borough, updating the control building and laying approximately two miles of new waterline up State Route 866 to Ridge Road, which could add about 20 new customers to the authority.

"The control building for the water treatment plant was built in the late '60s," Lansberry said. "It's very outdated."

Lansberry said the plan is to add a new control building and switch from gaseous chlorine to liquid chlorine, which he said is safer.

Lansberry said that the authority will also be replacing some of the underground pipes that carry water from the tank into town.

"We still have some old, original service mains we want to get replaced," he said.

The new upgrades will also include an alarm system that can alert the authority to a water leak.

"The new system will have alarms to notify us of leaks," he said. "It will make the system more efficient and with the new equipment we will be able to spot the leak faster and get it repaired quicker, which will reduce water loss.

Lansberry said the way the authority workers check for leaks now is by going to the plant at least once a day to check the bar graph that shows the water level. If there is a swift decline in the level, it means that there is a leak somewhere.

"The new system will automatically let us know if the water starts falling at a rapid rate," he said.

The new waterlines that are going to be laid up Route 866 will connect to the public water system the properties there who currently have wells or cisterns.

A cistern is a waterproof barrel or tank that is used for collecting rain in order to supply a house with water.

"There are a lot of people in the Ridge Road area that use cisterns to get their water," Lansberry said. "There are a few wells but they are very expensive because it's all sand and they have to dig deep and encase it."

Once the Pennvest loan is formally accepted by the authority, Lansberry said the project should begin in late summer or early fall.

"The project is designed and shovel-ready," he said. "Once the loan is accepted, we will advertise it, put it out for bids and get started."

The Williamsburg Authority is made of up of seven voting members – four from Williamsburg, two from Woodbury Township and one from Catharine Township.


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