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IUP students to continue testing air, water at Beaver Run Reservoir

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, June 14, 2018, 12:36 p.m.
Beaver Run Reservoir, Westmoreland County
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Beaver Run Reservoir, Westmoreland County

Indiana University of Pennsylvania students will continue testing air and water at Beaver Run Reservoir is to ensure that drilling and fracking aren't causing damage.

“We want to have an impartial, third-party do the testing,” Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County manager Michael Kukura said.

Authority board members approved one-year deals to pay the college nearly $99,000 to test water quality and another $24,700 to test the air at the reservoir that services the northern half of the utility's system.

This will be the sixth year that IUP has performed the services.

“It's an extra measure to ensure the activities there are not impacting the quality of water and air in that area,” said Brian Hohman, the authority's business manager.

IUP has performed water quality tests for the authority since 2011 and air monitoring since 2015.

The Beaver Run property holds 11 billion gallons of water at the 5,000-acre site in Bell Township. There are 52 deep gas wells on the property.

The wells are a major revenue producer for the authority. They are expected to generate about $2.4 million in royalties during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The authority earned $5.2 million gas royalties in 2015. After two down years, revenues rebounded last year to earn $3.2 million, Hohman said.

IUP's testing over the years revealed no major issues at the reservoir site, officials said.

Test results are compiled every four months and published on a website run by IUP.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or

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