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Johnstown Council repeals pressure test mandate, presents new option

By: Jackalyn Kovac

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Johnstown city leaders repealed ordinance No. 5103 requiring pressure testing for city residents for the area's controversial sewer project during Wednesday's meeting and presented a new ordinance.

The new ordinance, if approved by council, would give city residents more time and more options when it comes to the how to address water flow issues in their neighborhood.

"Bill 16 basically reintroduces pressure testing and camera televising but extends the period of time out into the future for which it actually has to be put into compliance on a residence lateral basis," said Carlos Gunby, interim city manager.

The new bill introduces the choice for homeowners to opt for camera testing if they're neighborhood doesn't meet the flow requirements.

"With camera scoping you may find a little defect at the end of your line right where you connect to the city line; which would be a minor fix as compared to the pressure testing which pretty much your guaranteed to fail," said Charlene Stanton, a city resident.

City leaders hope this new ordinance will allow the neighborhood flow levels be more true.

Gunby said the city will monitor the flows for several years after the city lines are put it to see if levels will adjust on their own. If not, residents will then be required to perform one of the two tests to fix the issue on their end.

The levels will be monitored in every area of the city, and one neighborhood's flow won't impact another.

The final read of the ordinance will take place at August's city meeting before council makes a decision.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times