State says Springdale Township is violating water regulations, failed to test for copper and lead
Springdale Township is appealing an order from the state Department of Environmental Protection that claims officials have violated multiple safe drinking water laws by failing to, among other things, properly test the water for contaminants such as copper and lead.
The order, sent to township officials Oct. 16, outlines multiple violations and said the township faces a penalty of up to $5,000 per day for each violation. The DEP has set specific time frames for the township to remedy the violations, ranging from 10 days to three months.
The administrative order was issued after the township failed to respond to a request for corrective action following a March 29 inspection of the system.
The township appealed the order Nov. 16, but no changes have been made as of Nov. 30, according got the DEP. DEP officials have yet to meet with anyone from the township.
Messages left for Craig Alexander, the lawyer representing the township, were not immediately returned Friday.
“To date, no meeting has been scheduled,” said Lauren Fraley, DEP spokeswoman. “Springdale (Township) is still responsible for compliance with the order.”
The order alleges that the township:
- failed to monitor the for disinfection byproducts known as TTHMs and HAA5s in 2016;
- failed to monitor the for lead and copper in 2016;
- failed to issue a required public notification for failing to monitor the above contaminates;
- failed to submit required registration, reporting, record-keeping and monitoring of the water system to the DEP since 2012;
- failed to obtain water allocation permits to purchase water from Harmar Municipal Authority and Springdale and Cheswick boroughs as required by law.
In addition, standing water was found in several areas of the water system during the March 29 inspection.
Fraley said Harmar, Springdale Borough and Cheswick are all in compliance with their testing and reporting.
Springdale Township Commissioner Tim Sweet, who is in charge of the water system, said he didn’t realize the township wasn’t in compliance. This is his first year as a commissioner.
“I didn’t know we had to send a report in,” he said. “I’m learning.”
Sweet acknowledged the previous officials hadn’t kept up with the testing and reporting. He said he is trying to fix the issues and be in compliance going forward.
“It should have been done in a timely manner,” he said. “We’ve just got to follow our plan — we are doing that as we speak.”
The township did issue the required notice to residents this month letting them know the water hasn’t been properly tested and reported to DEP.
Sweet said the water is still safe for residents to drink and any costs associated with fixing the issues outlined by DEP won’t cost the residents anything.
Residents with questions are asked to call the township office at 724-274-4034.