Harrisburg Authority approves pipe repair plan - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg Authority approves pipe repair plan

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The Harrisburg Authority has taken a big step toward repairing and renovating the city's aging pipe system.

It won't be a quick fix and it won't be a cheap fix, but many believe it is a necessary fix.

Authority board members approved a Graphic Information System project explained by HRG Engineering.

Authority Executive Director Shannon Williams said it will provide mapping and a condition assessment of all water, sewer and storm water pipes over the next four years.

"We're going to use that information to develop a list of where we want to focus repair, replacement and renewal projects," she said.

Williams said it will cost $8-10 million just to get the plan together.

She said the Authority will be working on finding funding partners, grant money and low interest loans with its operating revenue as collateral. She said they are not looking to take out any long-term debt.

"If we do finance, we're going to be doing all of the financial analysis to determine how that's going to impact rate-payers over the years, so we can make sure that we have gradual increases as necessary instead of having large jumps," Williams said.

This is meant to be a long-term fix and an effort to upgrade a very old infrastructure. In the meantime there will very likely be water main breaks as that old piping continues to crumble.

"We need to be ready for those reactions," said Williams. "We need to be ready for those band-aid fixes, but at the same time we need to be coming up with a plan so that we can be proactive and get a really robust system we can be proud of."

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