While the Bath Borough Municipal Authority looks forward to the new year, with a recently adopted budget and plans for a new treatment plant, the authority has a long and rich history dating back decades.
Over a century ago, in 1913, Bath was already chlorinating and treating its creek water. The Hatch Havel Creek and two local springs were utilized as emergency sources of water. In 1927, those means of water were abandoned in favor of wells.
Although Bath had discovered ways to treat and distribute its water, there was no official authority to manage this until decades later. It was not until June 1953 that the Bath Borough Council formed the water authority. Several years later, the Borough Council and authority made plans to construct a sewerage system, which was financed with a $730,000 worth of bonds. Construction was completed in 1965.
Now, Bath is one of the local municipalities that can perform both water and sewer services with its several water storage tanks and sewerage treatment plant, crossing borough lines and not only serving Bath, but also Upper Nazareth and East Allen Townships. The authority has grown from a series of springs and small wells to a system of more than 14.5 miles of sewer lines, 13.5 miles of water mains, three sewerage pumping stations, 225 manholes, 91 fire hydrants, and two water storage tanks.
The authority’s newest sewerage treatment plant was constructed in 1990. However, with the New Year, George Gasper, chairman of the authority, and David Stack, business manager, hope that will change.
In 2013, the authority was awarded a loan by the United States Department of Agriculture for the construction of a new treatment plant. However, the loan will expire after five years, which means the plant must be constructed and in-operation by 2018.
The authority was previously working with an engineering firm in Trexlertown. However, that partnership terminated when the firm did not complete the plans in time for the engineering agreement with the authority. The authority found a new partner in Pottsville’s Benesch Engineering. Both Gasper and Stack are optimistic about the new treatment plant and the future of the water authority, which has seen over six decades of change and progress in the Borough of Bath.