DROUGHT WATCH – Friday, August 21, 2020 - The PA Department of Environmental Protection has declared a drought watch in 16 Pennsylvania counties, including Indiana County. Residents in these 16 counties are being asked to use water wisely and follow simple water conservation tips to ease the demand for water. Residents are asked to voluntarily reduce individual water use by 5%.
The DEP’s recommendations for reducing individual water use include:
▪ Run water only when necessary. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shorten the time you let the water run to warm up before showering.
▪ Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
▪ When watering your garden, be efficient and effective: Water in the evening or morning, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant, so you don’t waste water through evaporation.
▪ Check for household leaks. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
Water Renovation 20 – Marion Center Update
The Indiana County Municipal Services Authority (ICMSA) applied to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest) for funding for this project. On January 29, 2020, ICMSA was awarded a grant of $10,775,000. Unfortunately, contract bidding came in higher than original project cost estimates of $10,775,000. Therefore, ICMSA had to apply for and secure additional funding from PennVest. On July 22, 2020, PennVest awarded a loan to ICMSA for the additional $1,462,420.
The Water Renovation 20 project will construct a water pipeline system from the Plumville and Crooked Creek Water Treatment Plants, to member communities of Rayne Township and Marion Center Borough. “We are very thankful for the grant allocation of 10.7 million dollars from the PennVest Authority for this water project. Unfortunately, project costs came in a lot higher than estimated and ICMSA needed to borrow additional money”, remarked Authority Chairman Dr. Maher Shawer. “We are also very grateful to the many individuals who have recognized the need for public water and advocated for this project, which was first addressed in a feasibility study in 2014. The total cost for this Water Renovation 20 project is anticipated to be over 12.2 million dollars.”
Construction is expected to begin by October, 2020, with a completion date in the fall of 2022. The scope of the project includes a waterline extension to the Spirit Life Drug Rehabilitation Center in Cherry Hill Township. Also, part of the project are major plant upgrades to both the Plumville and Crooked Creek Water Treatment Plants, as well as approximately 18 miles of new water line.
The Authority began working on the now estimated 12 million dollar project in 2018. ICMSA laid the groundwork with engineering design, permitting, and securing of rights of way so that we were prepared to move forward with construction as soon as funding was approved. Funding for the critical infrastructure of this project was necessary so that these areas can depend on a reliable water supply.
ICMSA is eager to provide important project related information to the general public and affected citizens prior to the start of construction in October, 2020. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, ICMSA has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and a map of the proposed service area. Both are available for public viewing on our Website at www.icomsa.org, under the WR 20 Project Tab. You may also view both documents in person by contacting either the Rayne Township Supervisors or Marion Center Borough. Copies of the FAQ sheet are available for pick up at both locations.
ICMSA is a community regional water supplier for Indiana County. ICMSA’s regional system helps support their individual water and sewer systems within Indiana County through cost sharing. Residential and Commercial properties covered under either the Marion Center Borough or Rayne Township mandatory tap ordinances will not be charged a tap in fee, but will be required to pay the system development/debt service monthly fees.
The Water Renovation 20 project is one of many vital rural water/wastewater projects that have received over 152 million dollars in both RUS and PennVest funding. New customers will become part of the ICMSA regional system to support the almost 50 million dollars in loans throughout the ICMSA community regional system. This community water infrastructure project represents a shared vision that ICMSA has had for 47 years, which is to deliver affordable, clean, water to the communities of Indiana County. ICMSA would like to give a special thanks to Senator Joe Pittman for his efforts and support to provide public water and fire protection to public school and citizens of these areas.
We are pleased that we are able to provide water service and fire protection to areas of Marion Center Borough, Rayne Township, East Mahoning Township, South Mahoning Township, Washington Township, and Cherryhill Township.
The declaration of a National Emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly changing environment in which we live and work have produced a lot of uncertainty. ICMSA is prioritizing the health and well-being of our customers, their communities, and our employees above all else.
We encourage you to visit Governor Tom Wolf's website or the Pennsylvania's Department of Health or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) for complete and accurate information.
Water Treatment Practices Effective Against COVID-19
The World Health Organization states that current water treatment practices are effective against COVID-19. For additional information, click here.
Report Illegal Fire Hydrant Use
The use of fire hydrants by anyone other than ICMSA employees or your local fire department is a misdemeanor of the third degree, subject to fines and punishable by up to a year in jail. Besides the costs to replace the water, which are passed onto the customers, broken hydrant fixtures may prevent fire personnel from saving your property during a fire emergency. Please report any suspicious use of fire hydrants to ICMSA immediately. Please call 724-349-6640 to report use during business hours or after hours, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
602 Kolter Dr, Indiana, PA 15701
If you have an emergency to report, please call 724-349-6640.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Lobby closes at 3:45 p.m.
ICMSA Chairman – Maher Shawer
Executive Director – Martin Maschak