Bessemer’s water problems are officially fixed.

Consultant Eric Buzza of Gannett Flemming told borough council Monday that the new chlorine alarm system is up and running.

He said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved an operating permit last week for the borough’s new chlorine monitoring system. The continuous chlorine analyzer and circular recording chart provide constant monitoring of the amount of chlorine being added to the municipality’s water.

If chlorine levels fall too low, an alarm auto-dials public works manager Jimmy Nelson and three other borough officials.

The borough had to purchase about $5,000 in equipment for the new system which was required to be installed after DEP officials cited the borough last summer for two violations at the municipal water treatment plant. The DEP claimed that from April 18, 2013, to July 22, 2014, Bessemer did not meet “treatment technique requirements.”

Samples showed chlorine levels taken July 22, 2014, were too low and the borough should have notified residents to boil water, the DEP said.

But Nelson said at the time that no one was ever in danger from the water. He said the borough sends water for monthly sampling to an independent lab and that no problems were detected during the period when the DEP said harmful bacteria could have been present.

In other business Monday, council reduced officer-in-charge Tom Macri’s hours from from a maximum 32 per week to 24 as a cost-cutting move. They also raised officer Brian Watkins’ wage from $14 to $15 per hour because he has completed his 350 hour probation.

•Fire Chief Louis Laughlin said an organization that wishes to remain anonymous donated $15,000 to the department, enough to pay for the 1984 Ford Tanker it is buying from Shenango Township. Laughlin said this frees up money so the department can buy a brush truck.

•Council agreed to pay $2,520 for lighting and a siren and $681.50 for relettering for the new tanker.

•Council hired Sam Donofrio to mow grass on borough property this summer for $475 per mowing. Quotes of $650 per mowing were received from Ron Tanner and Mike Beight. Council member Tom McGraw cast the lone “no” vote against the measure.

•Council President John Kliem announced the annual Spring Clean-up will be the week of June 15-20. The clean-up hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Residents will receive information in the mail about which items they can bring to township dumpsters during the event.

•Shelly McConnell reported she is looking for help with the annual Bessemer Community Days celebration and said the event may not take place this year unless enough people volunteer. To volunteer, call her at (724) 510-8038.

•Council members also told Laughlin that they want the Bessemer Fire Department to provide back-up to North Beaver Township’s fire department which provides first response for EMS calls in the borough.

Council member LuAnne Izzo did not attend Monday’s meeting.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

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