BURNSIDE — Burnside Borough Council approved splitting a bill associated with a giant water leak in April at the Church of God Campmeeting grounds.
On April 27, a valve connected to the camp’s water distribution line broke when a work party visited the camp to begin making preparations for the season. The borough lost about 40,000 gallons of water and had run out of water by the early morning hours of the following day.
At the May council meeting, Secretary Suzanne Koziel reported the borough was not notified by camp personnel about the leak until Tuesday, April 30, when a representative left a voicemail at the borough’s office reporting the leak at the campground.
The complete loss of water caused a pump at the treatment plant to malfunction and a “boil water” had to be issued for borough customers, council said at its May meeting.
Two camp representatives attended council’s May meeting to discuss what could be done about the aftermath. The men said they believed the leak was due to a valve that had broken or cracked during the winter’s freezing temperatures and then broke when the water came coursing through the line.
On Wednesday, Koziel calculated the cost associated with the water loss as nearly $500. She said the breakdown is the cost for wages for two employees, $241; 40,000 gallons of water is $120; chemicals to treat the water, $50; and a new valve to replace the broken one, $88.31.
Mayor Dick Coble told council he went to the camp and viewed the broken valve and concurs the incident was temperature-related.
“It definitely froze. The cold cracked the shut-off valve and it finally blew apart. That valve is only buried two and a half feet under ground and is covered by pieces of styrofoam. I think it needs better insulation,” Coble explained.
Following discussion, council opted to share the cost for the employee’s wages, the chemicals and the new valve with the camp ground. A motion was made for the borough to assume half of the cost, $190, by Councilman Chuck Smith.
“The borough has to take some of the responsibility,” he said. President Ed Somerville agreed, adding he does not believe the camp should be charged for the water that leached away.
Council approved submitting a bill to the camp for $190. Smith said he believed council should speak with camp officials about how to best insulate the valve to prevent any future freezing episodes.