Springdale officials say tap water should clear soon | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Springdale officials say tap water should clear soon

Emily Balser
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Springdale’s water treatment plant is being upgraded as part of a $7 million drinking water improvement project.

Springdale officials say residents who have been experiencing discolored water during the borough’s water improvement project can expect things to clear up after new filters are installed this week.

“We are in the process of installing new filters,” said Springdale Councilman David Spirk, chairman of the water committee. “The filters will greatly improve the quality of the water as far as the color.”

Spirk said it could take a month or two for all residents to see improvements as water filters through the new system.

Residents in Springdale have been concerned about their water, which they say often comes out of the faucet with a brown tint to it. Borough officials say the water has been safe, despite its color.

Springdale resident Michelle Timko is tired of not being able to drink the tap water that comes out of her faucets at home.

“Who wants to drink this?” she said. “Who wants to bathe in this?”

The borough is nearing the end of a $7 million water improvement project that included upgrades at the water plant and new water lines. Spirk said the project is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

He said the discoloration is caused by manganese and is safe to drink and use for cleaning and bathing.

Manganese is considered a secondary contaminant by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“While EPA does not enforce secondary maximum contaminant levels, DEP does,” said DEP spokeswoman Lauren Fraley. “Public water systems in Pennsylvania must provide drinking water that complies with the (secondary maximum contaminant levels), which deal with aesthetic considerations such as taste, color and odor.”

Fraley said the DEP issued an order in 2017 requiring Springdale to lower manganese levels by making improvements to its treatment facilities. Springdale embarked on its water improvement project shortly after that order.

“DEP expects the manganese levels to go down once the new treatment plant goes online,” Fraley said.

Even though it’s considered safe, residents say they have to buy bottled water to drink and run their water longer than normal until it runs clear, which raises their water bills.

“Our money is going out the door for water,” Timko said. “This is ridiculous that we have to live like this.”

Spirk said residents who experience discoloration should report it to the borough and someone will come out to check it. He said the borough has given out some bottled water and provides a product that can be added to their laundry to remove stains.

Spirk said sometimes if one house on a street is experiencing discolored water, it likely isn’t a problem from the water source, but instead could be problem with the connector lines to each house or the hot water tank could need to be purged of sediment. Both of those issues would be the responsibility of the homeowner.

“We try to make sure that we’re treating everyone fairly,” he said. “Nobody likes to see water that has a brown tint to it.”

This story has been updated to note that it could take a month or two for all residents’ water to clear up after new filters are installed this week, according to Springdale Councilman David Spirk.

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