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Problems Delay Water Plant Opening

Emily Salmon
The Gazette

Malfunctions are delaying the opening of Emmitsburg's new $1.3 million water treatment plant.

At the Monday town meeting, Emmitsburg Mayor William H. Carr and Town Manager David Haller explained that the plant's filters are largely responsible for the shutdown. He said there were also difficulties with the automatic and manual controls.

Carr bluntly told the Emmitsburg Town Council, "We attempted to use the new plant and it failed."

Town officials have decided to crank up the old water treatment facility until the problems can be resolved. Until the former plant goes back online, which was estimated on Monday to take a few days, the town will purchase half its water from Mount St. Mary's College.

This is not the first delay for the $1.3 million plant. In October 2000, construction was postponed when the town was sued by the lowest bidder, Howard Robson Inc. of Landisville, Pa., because it was not awarded the contract. The town won the suit, and second-lowest bidder Johnston Construction Co. of Dover, Pa., began construction.

Representatives from the plant's engineering company, construction firm and filter manufacturer are in Emmitsburg trying to resolve the problems. The filters at the new plant are being cleaned, examined and reinstalled, and the engineers expect to perform test runs next week, Haller said.  

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