Water Distribution System Upgrades

Mahanoy Township Authority | Mahanoy City, PA

The Mahanoy Township Authority (MTA) embarked on a major improvement project to upgrade the water distribution system throughout the service area. MTA provides water to the Boroughs of Mahanoy City, Gilberton and portions of Mahanoy Township. MTA currently serves 2,567 residential customers, 152 commercial customers and nine industrial customers. There are also 26 other connections related to the schools, fire protection services and blowoffs.

The water system was originally constructed in the early 1900s, with some elements dating back to the 1800s. In 1997, a 1,600,000-gallon per day capacity treatment plant was constructed and currently provides, on average, 575,000 gallons per day of safe drinking water to its customers. A 750,000-gallon storage tank ensures adequate storage capacity and fire protection for the system. Portions of the distribution system have been replaced over the years. However, a major replacement project had never been completed.

This project involved conducting an engineering study, which included an Asset Management Plan and hydraulic modeling using Bentley’s WaterCAD program. The study and modeling effort assessed the entire distribution system to determine where the system deficiencies existed and where improvements would make the most cost-effective system-wide impact.

Benesch’s design for this $7 million waterline upgrade project included replacing approximately four miles of 6-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch diameter ductile iron pipe, 1,300 service connections and 44 fire hydrants. The project improved water quality, system pressures, and fire protection, and eliminated dead ends, lines prone to freezing, and replaced shared services.

Once the project was completed, MTA saw a reduction of approximately 100,000 GPD in their average daily demand as well as an increase of 200% in fire flow. Unaccounted-for water (UFW) dropped to below 20%. Full street restoration was completed as part of this project through the cooperation between MTA and the Borough of Mahanoy City.