Bradford City Water Authority to preserve 10 ash trees

The Bradford City Water Authority wants to preserve a few samples of a type of tree that is dying at an alarming rate.

The nation’s ash tree population is in grave danger due to the introduction of the emerald ash borer.

Executive Director Steve Disney talked about the project at Wednesday’s water authority meeting.

Ken Kane, the authority’s forester, “has identified 10 healthy ash trees on the watershed as candidates to try and protect them from imminent death,” Disney reported.

The 10 trees are in the Marilla and Gilbert watershed areas near walking trails. If they are able to keep the trees healthy, they will be identified with a plaque and a display of background information on the project.

“The authority board believed it was important to identify select ash tree candidates to preserve a few examples of these trees for future generations, since the entire population is facing certain mortality,” it was reported.

The emerald ash borer is “a tiny green jewel beetle native to Northeastern Asian that has made its way into North America and is devastating huge stands of ash trees with nearly a 100 percent mortality rate,” the authority explained. Female emerald ash borers lay their eggs in the bark of ash trees, and the larvae feed under the bark and emerge one to two years later as adults.

The authority is treating the trees by drilling small holes around each tree about three inches apart and injecting insecticides that are meant to be carried in the tree’s sap up through the tree.

In other news, the 2017 drinking water report is ready for viewing.

The authority achieved all drinking quality parameters and benchmarks; however, it received one “failure to monitor or report” violation because one single combined filter effluent result was reported late.

“This was immediately corrected and submitted as soon as it was identified and compliance in this area was achieved,” the authority reported. “There was absolutely no issue with the quality of the water and the public was at zero risk due to this isolated event.”

Consumers can access the report at http://www.bradfordwater.com/ccr.html or pick up a copy at the water authority office at 28 Kennedy St. Copies will not be mailed out this year.

Disney updated the authority on upcoming projects, too.

Regarding a new pedestrian bridge that will be build over the Gilbert Reservoir spillway, consulting engineers GAI Consultants of Pittsburgh have sent a design and engineering package to Pennsylvania Dam Safety for review. Once it is approved, they can prepare to put the project out to bid. The authority expects the project to be finished by the end of 2018.

Regarding the replacement of 12 gate valves throughout the water system, employees of Mortimer’s Excavating Inc. of Pulaski will inspect valve locations this week to develop a installation schedule. News valves are being installed where efficient positive shutdowns have been difficult.

Finally, an outlet channel repair at Marilla is set to take place in late July/early August, depending on the weather.

Also at the meeting, the authority awarded bids for water plant chemicals for a six-month periods. JCI Jones Chemicals Co. had the low bids of $60 per 100 pounds for liquid chlorine and $18 per 100 pounds for caustic soda.

The authority accepted a bid for $2,673 from Joseph Godding of Bradford for an F-350 pick-up truck.

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