New Castle News Opinion

We’ll drink to that. Ellwood City area residents were expected to be among the first this week to start receiving water from a new $50 million treatment plant in New Beaver Borough.

In short order, they will be among more than 18,000 customers in southern Lawrence and Butler counties and northeastern Beaver County to receive water from the plant.

Pennsylvania American Water’s new facility replaces one that was constructed in 1909 and had reached the end of its useful life span.

According to the company, the 110-year-old facility had capacity and reliability limitations, while the new plant has increased production capacity, improved reliability and provides enhanced safety for the company’s employees.

The plant is reportedly the largest infrastructure investment Pennsylvania American Water Co. has made in northwestern Pennsylvania. Moreover, Pennsylvania American tapped area companies to put it all together.

Although Reynolds Construction LLC of Orleans, Indiana, was the project’s primary contractor, Pittsburgh-based Mascaro Construction of Pittsburgh was the subcontractor.

The company and its contractors worked with local labor and suppliers including: Construction and General Laborers Union Local 964; Wampum Hardware; Blank Concrete and Supply of Ellwood City; Amerikohl; Byers Trucking; Castle Builders Supply; and The Copy Shop of New Castle.

And it’s not just a more reliable source of drinking water that local folks will get out of it. Once decommissioned, the site of the former plant will be donated by Pennsylvania American Once the existing plant is vacated, that property will be deeded to Wild Waterways Conservancy of Harmony, Beaver County, which protects and enhances the natural resources of the Connoquenessing and Slippery Rock Watershed.

The public will have the opportunity to tour the new facility this fall. We encourage residents to watch for the announcement and visit the state-of-the-art plant.

And now that the water plant is operating, we’re looking forward to the opening of Hickory Run Power Plant, an $863 million, natural gas-fueled electrical generation plant that is under construction off Route 551 in North Beaver Township.

At last word, the plant is expected to be up and running by April 2020, to supply 1,000 megawatts of power to the region. That, according to a Tyr Energy spokesperson,is enough to power more than a million households,.

At a time when Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a $4.5 billion infrastructure plan that would be funded by a severance tax on natural gas instruction, Pennsylvania American and Tyr Energy are ahead of the curve.

We thank them and all the local business and government officials who worked to make the plant a reality.

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