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Honesdale water now tastes great, or haven’t you noticed?

August 24, 2011

If you lived in the Borough of Honesdale in recent years, you simply did not drink the tap water because the smell and taste was akin to rotten eggs. Now, that’s all changed and the taste and smell are gone.

On Wednesday, August 17, public officials and media were introduced to the system of large blue tanks, connected by filters, pipes, gauges and hoses. It’s all part of Aqua Pennsylvania’s full-scale construction of a new $670,000 treatment facility at the Weidner Well on Water Street across from Sunrise Market, the main source of the borough’s drinking water. The borough has four other wells but none as big and vital as Weidner.

“The new facility removes naturally-occurring hydrogen-sulfide, which can cause a rotten eggs taste and odor in water,” said Nick DeBenedictis, chairman of Aqua Pennsylvania.
The special filtering system not only removes the smelly stuff, but also the iron and manganese which can cause the water to be discolored or appear rusty.

“This project is just one example of nearly $4 million Aqua will have invested in Honesdale Borough projects this year,” DeBenedictis said. “In addition to the well, we’ve invested $3 million to replace approximately 18,600 feet of old water main. Last year, we invested $3.8 million to replace 23,000 feet of deteriorated water main in the borough. These projects are part of the $10 million of capital investment Aqua will have made to the Honesdale Borough’s water system by year-end since taking ownership of the system in September 2008.”

For a year now, the streets of Honesdale have been like mine fields, dug up, patched and dug up again. Some streets have been repaved.

Aqua’s activity wasn’t the only reason for the mess. The borough received a grant to separate the storm water system from the water system. Until recently, it was all one system, which is in violation of regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Leeward Construction, which has conducted both projects, is still doing the replacement project in the downtown business section. Work is yet to begin on High Street, the only connection linking the borough with residents on Golf Hill.

One positive feature was that the two projects provided numerous new jobs in the Honesdale area. Eric Linde of Leeward said at the event that the projects helped raise its employment numbers from 180 last year to 220 this year.