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Valley News Dispatch

Municipal Authority of Allegheny Township agrees to help Pucketa Creek's neighbors get sewer service

| Saturday, March 11, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Help could be on the way for 37 property owners with septic systems on the Murrysville side of Pucketa Creek.

The Municipal Authority of Allegheny Township has agreed to accept the properties into its sewage system.

Some of the property owners have failing septic tanks and would like to tap into the public sewage system.

Other property owners are concerned that they might not get fair market value for their homes because of sanitary problems in the neighborhood, located near Greensburg Road, also known as Route 366.

“We have to work out the details,” said Robert Polczynski, chairman of the Allegheny Township authority. “We'll submit the plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP said we could take only the 37.”

The sewage would cross through pipelines in Washington Township, which is connected to Allegheny Township's system.

Polczynski feels the current lines have enough capacity to accept up to 37 new customers.

Kevin Kaplan, manager of the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority, which serves Murrysville, also is on board with the plan.

“Murrysville asked us to do a study, to see if those 37 owners could be served by Allegheny Township,” Kaplan said. “Three or four property owners wanted to first tie in.”

Kaplan also clarified that these are property owners — not all have homes built on their properties. In sanitary system parlance, there is the potential of 37 “dwelling units.”

No tap-in fees or other costs to the property owners have been established.

Kaplan said Allegheny Township has been concerned about cost-sharing, particularly if pipelines would need to be updated.

Adding to the concerns is state Act 537, which, among other things, mandates that logistics for municipal sewage service areas be mapped out.

Murrysville's system too far away

Since the nearest home served by the Franklin Township authority along Route 286 is about 2,000 feet away, it would be cost-prohibitive for property owners in what's called the Pucketa Watershed to tie in there.

In fact, when Washington Township placed its lines along Pucketa Creek around 2010, supervisors Chairman Rich Gardner said the lines included “dormant taps,” with the idea that Murrysville customers would tie in at some point.

For now, Polczynski is waiting for a proposed contract from Murryville's authority and formal DEP approval.

Polczynski and Kaplan said Murrysville Council will weigh in on the proposal at some point.

Washington and Allegheny townships are part of the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority's sewage service area.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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