Article courtesy of Frank Otto | September 22, 2014 | The Times Herald | Shared as educational material
LIMERICK >> Further attempting to remedy Limerick groundwater contamination in the township, Limerick’s board of supervisors awarded a contract to a construction company to hook up homes in a northern section of the township to public water.
In a unanimous vote last week, the supervisors awarded the contract for hooking up homes in the 400 and 500 blocks of North Limerick Road to Joao and Bradley Construction Co., of Bethlehem. In total, 24 homes were approved to be hooked up to public water in a June supervisors’ meeting.
The bid for the project came in at $477,075. Joao and Bradley was the low bidder and township engineer Khaled Hassan said Limerick has worked with the company before and found it reliable.
There were eight bids submitted in total.
The money for the project will come from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), according to Township Manager Dan Kerr.
Contamination from the chemical Tetrachloroethene (PCE), a chemical usually used in dry-cleaning, has plagued the area and forced the hook-ups. Where the contaimination originally came from has never been determined but has been known about for more than a dozen years.
Originally, the Department of Environmental Protection hoped to remedy the contamination problem for residents by providing bottled water to affected residents for two years, which didn’t sit well with residents or the township supervisors.
Some of the wells attached to homes being connected to the public water source tested as not being contaminated. They are still being hooked-up because the DEP believes their water will be contaiminated in the future as the contamination “plume” moves.
“I’d like to thank Sen. (John) Rafferty’s office for his help and Pennsylvania American Water, they stepped up big, too, to get public water to these people who had wells,” said Supervisor Thomas Neafcy Jr. “It was through their efforts and Sen. Rafferty on the DEP battling them on our behalf that this happened.”