Tamaqua will redirect swimming pool water discharge after a state regulatory agency advised the borough about the issue last June and requested remediation.

On Thursday sealed bids were opened at Tamaqua Borough Hall from contractors interested in helping the borough "take backwash water from the filter pump to a 5,100-gallon holding tank and discharge it into a sewer, and at a slower rate," explained Rob Jones, Tamaqua public works director.

Up until now the treated water from the Howard D. Buehler Memorial Pool at Bungalow Park has been discharged directly into the Wabash Creek, a violation of DEP regulations. The infraction, however, was one of longstanding since the situation had existed for decades, ever since the pool was opened.

The issue arose after a fish kill was discovered last June along the Little Schuylkill River at a point past the confluence with the Wabash Creek.

While the cause of the dead fish mystery remains uncertain, many feel it's unlikely that the pool discharge was responsible since the treated pool water had been pumped into waterways leading to the Wabash for decades without incident.

The backwash water is used to clean the pool filters, said Kevin Steigerwalt, borough manager. The low bidder was Bognet Inc., of Hazleton. The Bognet firm quoted a price of $44,178 for installation of a holding tank and related work, along with a bid of $3,800 to install a concrete pad for the tank. The total bid was $47,978.

Stoneridge Inc., of Feasterville, bid a total of $56,700 for the combined work; and D.G. March & Associates of Pottstown bid a total of $53,890.

The bids and a summary will be forwarded for examination.

"We will give it to Wade Associates of Harrisburg for their review," indicated Steigerwalt. Wade Associates is a swimming pool and aquatic facilities consultant.

A recommendation to award the bid is expected to be made to borough council at their March 15 regular meeting.