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Article published November 17, 2012
Water for Woodlands
Joseph P. McMurry Butler Township
Regardless of what anyone believes about the cause of water problems in the Woodlands area of Connoquenessing Township, the fact is that there now are 25 families in that neighborhood who do not have safe water. Those families have been living with this situation for many months. The possibility of a permanent solution to the problem is at least two years away. Regardless of what anyone believes about what has created this water situation, there is a way for people to help the families. Water for Woodlands is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization spearheaded by White Oak Springs Presbyterian Church (USA) in Renfrew. The organization currently is providing bottled drinking water to the 25 affected families who cannot use their water wells for household purposes. With winter coming on, Water for Woodlands is hoping to provide water storage tanks for those families so they may have running water back in their homes for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and flushing toilets. A 1,500-gallon water storage tank can be purchased and set up at each residence, with winterization kit, plumbing into the home, and a pump and pressure tank for a one-time fee of $1,150 per residence. After that, it will cost about $200 a month to keep each tank filled. Water for Woodlands needs to raise $28,750 — $1,150 times 25 homes — just to get the infrastructure in place. That is a huge undertaking, but it often is said that “many drops of water create an ocean.” If everyone reading this letter were to donate something, this goal would be reached. And then the storage tanks must be kept filled. To this end, Water for Woodlands has created the “Adopt a Family” program, in which an individual or organization can partner with other individuals/organizations to make sure each family receives that $200 a month needed to keep the water running in their homes. Water for Woodlands can arrange for the partnering. And, there is a way to contribute to this worthy cause and fill one’s belly at the same time. Water for Woodlands and Marcellus Outreach Butler are co-sponsoring the Water for Woodlands Holiday Fundraiser at Lutherlyn Campground on Dec. 8; a lasagna dinner and silent auction are included. Together, we can do this, so that our neighbors in the Woodlands can have for Christmas something that most of us take for granted: running water in their homes. More details about the fundraiser are available at MarcellusOutreachButler.org. And, for more information on Water for Woodlands, visit waterforwoodlands.com, or send donations to: Water for Woodlands, c/o White Oak Springs Presbyterian Church (USA), 102 Shannon Road, Renfrew, PA 16053.