LOCK HAVEN - Customers of the Whiskey Run Water Association at Farrandsville may finally get relief later this year in the way of improved quality of their drinking water.
With nearly all of the funding in place, the Clinton County commissioners this week said they are poised to approve a contract pushing forward the Whiskey Run water project.
SEDA-COG spokesman Jamie Shrawder told the board at its work session Monday an application for a $500,000 competitive state grant proved successful and put the water project over the top for the community of Farrandsville.
Officials said the project could begin this spring and be finished by November.
The Whiskey Run Water Association (WRWA) covering Farrandsville has been under mandate by the state Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its water system or close down.
The system is fed by a spring, but DEP contends there is surface water contamination.
County Planner Tim Holladay said just over 70 percent of the community falls into the low-to-moderate income bracket needed for state approval, and water samples suggest water from springs that is used by 75 percent of the households show contamination.
The Whiskey Run Water Association, covering Farrandsville, has been under mandate by the state Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its water system or close down.
The new cash would supplement the county's three-year commitment of $150,000 in annual Community Development Block Grant funding to finance the project.
Grants and loans from the state's PennVEST program amount to $381,000 and $419,000 respectively, and the H2O PA program, came through with $1.2 million.
Shrawder said the Department of Community and Economic Development is currently reviewing the local proposal, with the idea that some of the funding might be used for lateral lines from main, thereby saving the individual homeowners some $1,500 to $2,000 on their installation costs. In the alternative, she said, there's also a possibility the monthly water fee, now estimated at about $50, could be reduced.
Plans are to install a new water line and appropriate connections between the households in the upper end of the small, mountainside village along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
WRWA has been out of compliance with the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act since Feb. 8, 2006. The DEP's compliance deadline expired Feb. 8, 2010, and the agency is pursuing action against the association.
The project would require the installation of 18,000 feet of six-inch waterline, a water booster station with backup generator, and new water meter pits with backflow prevention devices for each connection.
The Suburban Water Authority line ends around the intersection of Queens Run and Farrandsville roads, he said, and the extension amounts to about 3.5 miles of water line.
After the project is completed, the Whiskey Run system would be dedicated to Suburban.
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority has approved a low-interest loan for a project to Suburban for $800,000. Pennvest, created by the General Assembly in 1988, is an independent state agency offering low-interest loans and grants to communities throughout Pennsylvania to fund sewer, storm water and drinking water maintenance and improvement projects.