State loan to bring public water to rural Washington Co. areas

July 23, 2014

Pennsylvania American Water will receive a share of $81.5 million for water pipeline extensions in Washington County under state infrastructure investments announced Wednesday.

The company said it will receive an $8.3 million low-interest state loan to provide public water to nearly 230 households in mostly rural areas in the county where residents use unreliable wells, springs and cisterns for drinking water.

“We are extremely pleased. … This financing will enable us to extend water mains to residents now living without adequate access to public water service,” company President Kathy L. Pape said in a news release.

Pennsylvania American said the 15 projects will cost $9.8 million and involve work in Amwell, Buffalo, Cecil, Chartiers, Jefferson, Mt. Pleasant, North Strabane and Smith townships. The 19 miles of main pipelines are expected to be in operation next summer.

The money is being awarded under the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

Pennsylvania American serves 625,000 customers in the region.

The projects in Washington County are “essential for the growth and safety of our community,” state Rep. Brandon Neuman said.

“The residents of these communities have patiently waited for the day when water would be delivered to their homes,” said Neuman, D-North Strabane.

State Sen. Tim Solobay said PENNVEST is “the responsible approach” to funding the projects.

“There’s nothing more basic than ensuring clean water to the region’s residents,” said Solobay, D-Canonsburg.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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