Reynoldsville Water and Sewer Authority makes changes needed to bill property owners, not tenants

At its meeting on May 27, the Reynoldsville Water and Sewer Authority took action on an item that will clear the way to bill property owners instead of tenants for water usage.

At the recommendation of Solicitor Jeff Gordon, the authority approved a motion to change the authority’s rules and regulations that removed tenants as customers in several sections.

In a sample letter that will be revised and sent out at a later date, the second paragraph reads, “Rental property owners, serviced by the ‘Authority,’ must make arrangements with the authority to change accounts into their name, rather than the name of the tenant(s), on or before January 1, 2022.” After some discussion, the authority decided to change the due date to the time of the January 2022 billing, which would be later in the month.

The authority has been discussing this issue for some time due to the difficulty in collecting unpaid bills from tenants. It initially wanted to make the move in the June billing of this year, but Solicitor Gordon advised that the rules and regulations should be changed first. The authority agreed with the later date to give propriety owners time to make the changes.

Lead pipes

With planned changes to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead pipe regulations expected in June, Water Authority Systems Manager Robert Crosby said exploratory digging will take place in the borough to determine if some of the piping needs to be replaced. He estimated that 40% of the water lines have at least a portion of lead piping.

If the dig discovers lead, a grant application will be filed with the EPA to replace the lines in that area.

Crosby said that there are very few lead service lines to houses. If that is the case, the authority is responsible to replace the line following an agreement with the homeowner.

Carbon feeder

The carbon feeder problem that has been the cause of a bad smell and taste in the water continues. Crosby urged the authority to come up with a game plan on what to do about it. The cost of a new one was estimated to be around $60,000.

Bulk water sales

The authority voted to suspend bulk water sales until further notice. This will give the water authority workers the chance to flush the water lines across the borough.

Sewage sludge

Problems at the sewage treatment plant are being worked on. The authority approved a motion to have a contractor de-water 150,000 gallons of sludge dating back to May 20. The equipment at the plant that does that process has been malfunctioning and the authority workers have been trying to resolve the issue with manufacturer.

Jim Venture of the engineering firm PVE said, “I think it will get worked out.”

Venture also reported on radiation exposure to workers at the plant. He said an investigation showed there was no danger and that the readings showed less of an exposure than what occurs in some situations in normal life. The investigation will be ongoing.

Other items

*In other discussions, the authority was informed that the staff is currently reviewing its cybersecurity in wake of recent cyber attacks on infrastructure nationwide.

*Sewer line replacement will begin in mid-June for a line on Grant Street before paving takes place there.

*A question from a TV reporter about the condition of an authority dam was handled by PVE. Venture said there was nothing wrong with Dam 5, it was just a paperwork issue with the regulatory agency. *The authority was also informed a pre-construction meeting will be held in the near future with the developer of the Dollar General site at the intersection of Route 322 and Prescottville Road. Although the site is in Winslow Township, the authority provides water in that area.

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