BEDFORD BOROUGH SIGN

The Bedford Borough Municipal Authority has been approved to receive state funding to pay for more than $9 million worth of water and sewer line replacements.

The municipal authority this week was approved for two low-interest loans and a grant through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVEST).

The authority received a $2.4 million grant and a $3.1 million loan to replace about 30,000 feet of sewer line and a $3.8 million loan to replace 18,000 feet of water line.

The loan for the sewer funding has a 1 percent interest rate for 20 years, while the loan for the water line has a 1 percent interest rate for the first five years and a 1.743 percent rate for years 6 through 20.

Tim Cooper, borough and authority engineer, said the sewer line project will replace antiquated clay pipes that allow stormwater inflow and groundwater infiltration into the sanitary sewer system, resulting in untreated overflow waters being discharged into the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.

“With a wet year like the one we just had, it could be millions of gallons of untreated discharge going into the river,” Cooper said. “Some years we don’t have any discharge.”

The Department of Environmental Protection issued a consent order requiring the borough take care of the untreated discharge by 2022.

Some of the clay sewer lines date back to the 1930s.

“Back then the system was designed for both storm and sewer,” Cooper said.

The municipal authority, which combined with the water authority last year, decided to seek funding to replace water lines at the same time it would replace the sewer lines in order to prevent separate construction periods.

Cooper said the old water lines include asbestos cement and cast-iron lines, some dating back to the 1950s.

Fire hydrants and service lines reconnecting customers also will be added or replaced as necessary. The project will address unaccounted for water loss and improve service reliability.

The work will span across the borough and will continue replacement projects from the early 2000s.

The authority will need to formally accept the funding at its meeting in May before the construction projects can be put out for bid.

Cooper said construction is expected to begin in late summer or early fall, and will take about a year to complete. The streets over the lines will be repaved the following year, with that work also including several Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps.

Cooper said testing of some private laterals also will need to be done following the work.

Borough Manager Barbara Diehl said the PennVEST projects will continue the borough’s goal of managing stormwater.

“These projects benefit the environment, economic development and public health, as well as advance our shared goal of a clean and safe environment for our families to enjoy many years to come,” Diehl said in an email.

“Continuously working to improve our drinking water, treatment of our wastewater and the necessary steps to manage our storm water will remain our goal as we work to strengthen our borough.”

Contact Will DeShong at wdeshong@bedfordgazette.com; 623-1151, ext. 150.

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