Pennsylvania American Water invests $11 million in Washington County

Katie Anderson
Observer Reporter

Pennsylvania American Water is investing $11 million in two new water towers and pipeline upgrades in Washington County this year.

One of the new storage tanks costs $3 million and will hold 750,000 gallons on South Hewitt Avenue in Canton Township. The engineering project manager, Rachael Beam, said ground was broken at the site in April. She said the tank will improve fire safety and reliability and “benefit Canton Township and surrounding communities.”

Gary Lobaugh, external affairs manager for Pennsylvania American, said the tank would benefit customers in case of an outage or if something happened at the plant. In November, a filter malfunctioned at the Aldrich Purification Plant in Union Township, causing a boil water advisory that lasted three days and affected about 100,000 customers in Washington and southern Allegheny counties.

“This may help lessen the impact of those incidents that happen at the plant,” Lobaugh said.

“This will provide us with a degree of flexibility and lessen the impact that a planned or emergency outage would have on our customer base.”

Work began this month on a second new storage tank on Stoops Drive in Monongahela. The 500,000-gallon tank project will cost $3.2 million. A 422,000-gallon tank on Peach Street in California will also be rehabilitated with new paint.

The company will also replace 10 miles of aging main lines in Canonsburg, Carroll Township, Washington, Midway, Peters Township and Slovan.

“The pipes being replaced have reached the end of their service life, with some dating back to the early to mid-1900s,” Sean Graves, Pennsylvania American’s senior director of operations, said in a news release. “The new main we’re installing is expected to last the next 100 years.”

Lobaugh said all of the construction is expected to be completed and the tanks in service by the end of the year.

He said the projects were covered under the rate increase that took effect Jan. 1.