Laceyville under boil advisory

BY VIRGINIA CODY

and ROBERT L. BAKER

Wyoming County Press Examiner

Laceyville’s water is back up and running.

A motor in a single well pump that delivers water to more than 150 homes and businesses broke last week leaving the town at extremely low levels.

According to Mayor Ken Patton, the water was back online Friday evening and water is flowing again.

He said Monday morning that the water will have to pass a series of tests before things are back to normal, and customers will still have to boil their water before drinking it until further notice.

Patton explained that there’s really no way of knowing just when that boil advisory is to be lifted.  Water tests will be done every 48 hours until the water shows it’s safe.

“When DEP reviews the results and tells us, that’s when we can stop,” he said.

Robin Pickett, a waitress at the Wiser Choice Restaurant on Main Street, said that while the restaurant had to close down for lack of water for one day, it was now back open.

“It’s full speed ahead.  We’ve got good water pressure now,” she said.

Patton said an issue that exacerbated the problem caused by the burned out pump last week is that Laceyville has been waiting for water test results for its backup well from the Department of Environmental Protection since April.

Because they don’t know what those tests show, they haven’t bothered to install a pump there.  The reason, Patton said, is that it would really be pointless to install a pump if the water turned out to be undrinkable.

So far, he said, several test wells have been drilled and the water quality there did not meet standards.

Nevertheless, Patton said they’re hopeful about the new backup well.

“We’ve been ready; we’re just waiting for approval,” Patton said.

Phil Brewer, a former borough councilman in Laceyville, said he was disgusted about the amount of time DEP has taken to provide water test results.

“The whole borough has been impacted by this,” he said.  “We’ve been trying to follow Pennsylvania rules and regulations, but we’re not getting help.”

According to Bill Karp, owner of Karp’s Well Drilling, the backup well was drilled not too far from the main well to a depth of 250 feet and should produce 75 gallons of water per minute.  The main well, now that it is back up and running, is producing 100 gallons per minute.