Construction to extend the water pipeline along Route 663 in New Hanover Township has run into a snag – of the underground variety.
Township officials first said at the Aug. 11 supervisors' meeting workers from General Asphalt unearthed underground storage tanks along Route 663 near Hoffmansville Road while digging to install the water line. The line, belonging to Superior Water Company, is being extended from Boyertown Junior High East about 3 miles.
It will serve 27 households along Hoffmansville Road and Route 663 who have been on bottled water since 2012 due to groundwater contamination.
On Tuesday, however, Interim Township Manager Mike McGann said only one container was found underground and it is an empty 55-gallon drum. It was not at the former Good/Swann Oil site, he said.
Where it came from is still unknown, he explained, as is what it used to contain. Its removal, however, will likely cost upwards of $50,000, according to quotes obtained by Solicitor Paul Bauer.
The water line extension project is thanks wholly to $2 million in grant monies from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Officials said Monday night the additional $50,000 or more to remove the underground container will also be supplied by DEP. The township's DEP liaison, Ragesh Patel, confirmed funding was available for the expense, officials said.
Bauer also stated that the work to remediate the container hasn't started because the township is waiting for the additional money to be released. He also said an updated agreement will have to be drafted between the township, DEP and Superior Water.
McGann said the removal of the drum should not extend the project's timeline and it should still be complete in mid-September.
"The residents have been on bottled water for quite some time, so it will be a relief to be able to supply them with public water they can count on," McGann said.
Groundwater from wells at the site was found to be contaminated TCE and vinyl chloride from leaky underground storage tanks belonging to the former Good Oil Company. DEP has been providing bottled water to property owners in the contaminated area ever since. Those homeowners were also instructed to limit showers and take other precautions to limit exposure to the toxic chemicals.
At the December supervisors meeting, the board passed an ordinance that requires all properties in the contaminated area to hookup to the new line once installation is complete. Connection fees were also funded by DEP for those homes.
In other business, Recreation Director Connie Garner reported that the committee was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Pottstown Health and Wellness Program.
"I would like to thank everyone involved that helped make this possible," said Garner. She requested supervisors purchase new playground equipment for Hickory Park using the grant money.
The equipment includes swing sets for two- to five-year-olds and a porch swing for senior citizens, Garner said, noting a lack in equipment for the age groups.
Supervisors agreed on the purchase but asked for a written proposal to move forward.
Garner also stated that Hickory Park now has public water thanks to the water line extension along Route 663 and it is being provided free courtesy of Superior Water Company.
The Fall Frolic is scheduled for Saturday, September 13, from noon to 5 p.m., at Hickory Park.
The board approved a motion to advertise the budget committee meeting dates for 2014: August 25, September 22, October 20, and November 3. All meetings will be held at the township building and start at 6 p.m.