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Frustrated Bradys Bend residents to hold meeting on water issues

July 21, 2019 News Extra

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BRADYS BEND TWP, ARMSTRONG COUNTY — Frustrations over a monthlong boil water advisory could boil over at a community meeting Monday night.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection put Bradys Bend Township, a community of about 770 residents along the Allegheny River, on a boil water advisory on June 18, DEP spokesman Tom Decker said.

The reason was two-fold: for one, Bradys Bend Township Water and Sewer Authority, a separate entity from the township government, “is experiencing a breakdown in treatment, potentially allowing microbial pathogens to pass through and on to customers,” Decker said.

Secondly, the storage water reservoir, which holds filtered water for use by the public, was found to be dilapidated. Decker said the DEP's check on the facility found breaches in the structure and evidence of animal feces.

Both problems were discovered during a regular check the DEP performs every three years, in addition to the usual reporting such water authorities must provide. The DEP requires authorities to perform regular tests on water samples for a slew of chemicals and send them the results.

While much of the township is affected, not every resident with public water is under the advisory. The water authority operates two zones. The affected one pulls water from a limestone mine, according to DEP records.

The other zone, which is generally in the area known as Seybertown, is not under the advisory. To serve that area, Bradys Bend's authority buys water from the Petroleum Valley Regional Water Authority and resells it. Additionally, the water Petroleum Valley provides comes from a third water authority in East Brady.

Petroleum Valley's water is especially important to Bradys Bend right now, as it's the likely means to end the boil advisory. The DEP issued an emergency permit on July 11, allowing the two companies to further connect their systems and get water back to the rest of Bradys Bend.

On Monday, residents plan to discuss the situation at 7 p.m. in the Bradys Bend Township building at 1004 Route 68.

Read the full story in Monday's Butler Eagle.

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