Residents of Penn Township. The Sunshine Hill neighborhood has been plagued with decades of water issues, ranging from high manganese levels to sediment clogging pipes and filters, and discolored water.
A key to eliminating the problems – a new water treatment plant – could come online in mid-June if all goes according to plan, the Penn Twp. said the municipal authority during its meeting on May 4.
“I think we’ll all be happy to put it online,” said Robert Harbold, the authority’s vice president.
Much of the work is completed at the processing facility at 30 Eisenhower Blvd. in the neighborhood on the hill above Duncannon. But the contractors are still installing some of the equipment and making the connections. For example, a chlorine analyzer will be installed on May 12 and additional electrical work needs to be completed, according to the authority.
Much of the work is expected to be completed by the end of May or early June, said Township Authority member and supervisor Henry Holman III. But given the unforeseen circumstances, schedules and inspections, he didn’t want to tie completion to a specific date.
The facility not only treats well water to protect it against bacteria and other microbes, but will also remove high manganese content, a requirement of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The PTMA still needs to replace many aging water pipes in the Sunshine Hill neighborhood and is seeking infrastructure funding from county, state and federal sources to work on this in the near future. When both sides of the project are complete, many of the water issues that residents have been complaining about for over 15 years will likely disappear. However, this will not happen overnight.
The authority had to pay for about one-third of the treatment facility project, with Fishig Creek Valley Associates (the development arm of Yingst Homes) paying for the other two-thirds of the project which cost about $1.4 million.
Companies needed a new well and processing facility for the Stone Mill Estates subdivision off Newport Road (Hwy 849). The 128-unit addition project was approved in 2018, but work did not begin until 2021 due to the financial uncertainty the pandemic has brought.
Residents of Sunshine Hill received a boil water advisory in late February and early March due to treatment facility construction activities. The work caused a service outage and discolored the water. The advisory was lifted on March 4, but some still had brown water.
Another update is expected at the June 1 meeting.
Jim T. Ryan can be contacted by email at [email protected]