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Wildcat inspections continue in Tamaqua

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Published March 11. 2011 05:00PM

A One Service workers, of Shenandoah, have been spending time over the past week investigating wildcat sewers throughout Tamaqua. An estimated 27,000 homes in Southwestern Pennsylvania have no sewage treatment system at all. Instead, they rely on "wildcat sewers" in which their sewage is piped directly into nearby ditches and streams. Wildcat sewers are illegal but hard to eliminate, especially in view of high retrofitting costs, the relatively low incomes of many affected families, and the lack of access to nearby public sewer systems. In December, the Department of Environmental Protection ordered Tamaqua Borough and its borough authority to identify all residential and commercial properties not connected to the existing sewer system and require them to connect. Essentially, the borough was given eight months to rework remnants of a primitive sewage disposal system set up in the 1890s or earlier. Pictured are workers detouring Five Points traffic in Tamaqua while they check the sewers.

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