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Latrobe agency says it is well prepared for water emergency

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Latrobe Municipal Authority officials said on Tuesday the system that services about 8,000 customers would be prepared if a boil-water alert similar to the one recently ordered by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County were needed.

Board member Randall Cook asked manager Tom Gray how the authority that services customers in Derry Township, Latrobe and Unity would respond to an incident similar to that which occurred last month.

A filter at one of the MAWC plants failed an inspection on Oct. 23, requiring flushing of the system. Customers were advised to boil water before drinking or cooking for several days.

The Latrobe authority has requested emergency phone numbers for customers through monthly billing, Gray said. Those numbers would be called in the event of a similar incident.

“The ones who have not provided us with that phone number will not be notified,” he said, encouraging customers who do not have a phone number on file to contact the authority office.

“We feel that we can notify all our customers in short order,” he said.

In addition to notifying the whole system, the Latrobe authority can pinpoint a radius of a broken pipe and call only those affected, Gray said.

Latrobe Municipal Authority's water comes from one source, he said.

In other business, Gray reported that portions of three water lines and one sewer line were replaced.

Portions of lines at Station Street in Derry Township, Miller Street in Latrobe and Gem Lane in Lloydsville were replaced, each costing about $20,000. On Station Street, a woman's basement was flooded twice, causing the insurance company to recommend pipe replacement, Gray said.

A two-block section of sewer line in an alley between Thompson and Miller streets in Latrobe cost the authority about $40,000 to replace, he said.

Paving accounts for much of the cost, Gray said.

“These repairs and replacements are not inexpensive,” he said, adding that the authority worked with Latrobe city officials, who were already planning to pave Miller Street, in order to save money.

Meetings to discuss the Act 537 stormwater management plan with Unity Township and other area officials are scheduled to begin on Dec. 10 and will be held monthly through March to reach a resolution.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660.

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