MAWC experiences minor issuess due to heavy rains
Last weekend’s heavy rains caused only minor issues with local water and sewer service, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County officials said Wednesday.
The water system, which serves more than 120,000 customers in five counties, experienced stresses related to a power outage earlier this week and high levels of dirty water at its treatment plants, but no service disruptions, according to authority Manager Michael Kukura.
“It was a struggle out there at times,” Kukura said.
The power outage, which impacted the authority’s New Stanton headquarters as well as its treatment plant near Connellsville on Monday night into Tuesday morning, was offset by internal generators installed at various locations through the utility’s system. Kukura said the authority spent $2.8 million in 2013 to install generators, a project that was included in a $135 million program to upgrade the water and sewer systems.
The rain put additional stresses on the system, including having to treat drinking water than was 13 times dirtier than in normal conditions.
Assistant Manager Jack Ashton said $3 million of new equipment was installed in 2014 to upgrade the treatment plant’s ability to clean the water. Without those higher-end filters, the authority would most likely have ordered conservation and boiling of water. Some areas of the authority’s system would have been without service, he said.
“Our older system would not have handled those water levels,” Ashton said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.