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Pine Grove Residents Need Reliable Sewage/Water

By Staff | Aug 30, 2017

Pine Grove’s sewage struggles did not begin just this summer. Rather, several events have come together to create a magnified perfect storm under the new mayor and council. The sewage system pump failure in June was just one of those events.

Reading our front page story this week, readers can see that the town was fined by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for multiple discrepancies in its sewage system. These discrepancies were discovered last year, before the new mayor and council members took their seats.

Now, it seems that whenever the town moves to make a repair, another piece of the sewage system – or even water system – breaks down. Leaks in the water system have resulted in countless boil orders, and even a conserve order.

It’s difficult to clean up raw sewage in one’s basement while having to boil and conserve water.

The Wetzel-Tyler Board of Health discussed Pine Grove’s problems extensively at the board of health’s Aug. 22 meeting. It seems as if, besides a break down in the sewage and water systems, there is also a break down in communication. The board of health cited mixed messages from the town, as did the commission.

We can’t say for certain where the fault lies with this mess. But we can say that the people of Pine Grove have gone far too long paying for shoddy sewage and water. As we said in a previous editorial, the problem is too big for the town. We plead for state, possibly federal, involvement. Fines need paid. The town needs a more modern gravity sewage system installed. The systems need a complete overhaul, not just band-aid fixes.

The monetary cost is great, but we fear the cost to the people’s health could be greater if this mess continues any longer.