July 24, 2008

Water Source of Frustration Outages Affect Wyoming County Residents

By Josh Mrozinski, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

Jul. 24--WASHINGTON TWP. -- Water woes are back at a residential development in Wyoming County.

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday investigated reports of water outages and low water pressure at Washington Park, where for several years about 100 residents have experienced such problems.

"There are some situations of low water pressure and no water," DEP spokesman Mark Carmon said. "How widespread the problems are is not known. Given the ongoing problems, our suggestion is that people still boil the water."

Mr. Carmon said two of the development's four wells were out of service Tuesday.

A tanker of nondrinking water was placed in the development Tuesday. A tanker with drinking water will be at the Municipal Building on Keiserville Road starting today, township secretary Lora Ann Seidel said.

Residents will have to bring their own containers for the water, which can be retrieved between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the municipal office building is open.

Owned by Carl and Sandra Kresge, of Wilkes-Barre, WP Water and WP Sanitary serves 150 customers at the development.

Mr. and Mrs. Kresge each were previously charged with 40 counts of polluting and disturbing waterways in Wyoming County Court in relation to the operation of their sewer plant. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

In July 2007, the state Public Utility Commission began an investigation into whether the companies should be sold. According to the PUC, mediation proceedings continue.

Aqua Pennsylvania spokeswoman Donna Alston said the Kresges have signed an agreement to sell their companies, but Aqua Pennsylvania has not signed the sale agreement.

Without a resolution clearly in sight, residents are frustrated and angry.

"This is a tragedy," said Jay Niskey, who owns an apartment building in Washington Park. "The best thing that can happen to Washington Park residents is that the PUC brings this issue to resolution."


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