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Brackenridge council gets plan for groundwater tests

| Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 1:02 a.m.

Council will look at a proposal by a gasoline company that wants to drill three borings across from Brackenridge's only gas station in order to test for contaminated groundwater.

Nate Crossman, of Letterle & Associates of Allison Park, said the soil samples are needed to determine whether a gasoline leak at the FueLand station at the corner of First Avenue and Mile Lock Lane has contaminated a small piece of Brackenridge's riverfront park.

The leak occurred last year and the faulty underground tank eventually was removed.

Three testing areas adjacent to the gasoline station have been established, but council took no action Thursday night on the new borings.

According to state Department of Environmental Regulation rules, the groundwater needs to be tested every three months until there is no longer a contamination threat.

The holes would be about 18 inches by 18 inches and be covered until testing takes place.

Under the terms of a proposed contract between the borough and Letterle, when it has been determined that the groundwater is safe, Letterle would fill the holes.

Borough engineer James Garvin said he is concerned the testing area would impact the proposed riverfront trail along the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh's North Side to Freeport.

Garvin will check with Allegheny County officials to see how far along the proposed public trail planning is.

In other business

•Residents were reminded that trick-or-treating has been rescheduled to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• The joint Christmas parade with Tarentum will be set for Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.

• The project to install 22 handicapped access ramps at various Brackenridge street corners is set to begin on Monday.

The work will be done by Pampena Construction of Plum with a $26,000 federal grant and between $2,000 and $3,000 in matching funds from the borough.

• Council approved spending $6,500 to map the borough's waterline system.

The last mapping was done in 1940.

Officials said the map would be placed online to prevent a situation where public works employees who know where the lines are just from memory would leave the borough and new employees wouldn't know where the lines are buried.

Mappings costs would be obtained from the borough's water fund.

The new map will also include locations of hydrants, valves, lines, manholes and manhole depths.

• Council voted 5-0 to tentatively accept an offer from the Allegheny County North Council of Governments to pay the borough's $105,000 share to separate sanitary and stormwater pipes near Steiren Avenue.

Water is currently ponding and appears to be going into the sewage system.

The remainder of the $153,000 total cost of the project — or 35 percent — will be paid for with the federal money channeled through the Allegheny Valley North COG.

The original plan was to have the federal government, as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, pay 65 percent and the borough pay 35 percent.

Borough officials now will seek a loan to pay for its share, since the money isn't budgeted.

Brackenridge, like many other Alle-Kiski Valley municipalities, is under a federal decree to separate sewage and stormwater lines.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. Comments regarding this story may be sent to (724) 226-4666 or

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