Water seeping into residents' basements and coming up through drains in showers can be partially credited for standing room only at the Slatington Borough Water and Sewer Committee work session on Monday evening.
Many of the people who attended were neighbors who had problems with water seeping into their homes after a storm. A borough employee, John Bolton, explained why the problem was happening. He said that although the water mains in the borough are fixed, the problem is occurring with the laterals - the pipes going from the curb to the house are faulty and that many home owners are using sump pumps, which are contributing to the problem. He added that the problem was a combination of a lot of things, "but," he said, "we need to get into the homes see where the problems are."
It was agreed by the Committee and Borough employees that there was a need to look at the houses in critical areas and try to rectify the problem.
The Committee seemed intent on helping residents find a solution. Bryon Reed suggested the borough pay for check valves to help people who had water problems. Chris Burek suggested that the borough pay up to $500 to those people who attended meetings complaining about water problems to have the check valves installed. Six resident properties were identified.
The Committee agreed with Bolton that there needs to be an assessment of how many residents in critical areas are using sump pumps to eliminate water. Burek said the Solicitor should be contacted to write up a letter to residents and request an inspection. Galen Freed agreed and said that this move was not intended to be antagonistic, but it was necessary to find a solution. He added that if people using sump pumps are contributing to the problem, they will be asked to correct the situation. If they do not, further action will be taken.
One resident objected saying he did not feel as if the taxpayers' money was being spent wisely. His opinion, he said, was based on decisions made in the past.
Other Committee issues involved a 'homemade catch basin" at the corner of Center and Main that's a safety issue. The grate is not safe. PennDOT was approached about fixing it, but they did not resolve the issue. John Bolton has an estimate to repair the grate that would satisfy all of the safety issues.