The Bradford City Water Authority is concentrating efforts to attempt to reduce the number of delinquent water accounts in the system.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Executive Director Steve Disney explained the authority is “utilizing tools and features inside the Edmunds Billing Software/System” which is shared with the City of Bradford and the Bradford Sanitary Authority to apply payments in a “waterfall manner.”

“Payments received are applied to the oldest balance first, and then any remaining funds are applied in the priority sequence of number one, water, number two, stormwater and then number three, sewer accounts,” Disney said.

The same process is being used in the sanitary authority system.

The authority has started topographic surveying of water line replacements for the lead abatement project funded through PENNVEST.

Disney gave an update on the project, for which the authority was awarded $8.52 million, with a tentative date for going out to bid in December 2021. It is anticipated that bids will be opened and awarded in January with construction to begin in April and be completed in late 2022.

Disney has said the project will involve replacing 573 service line connections that contain lead, and about 3 miles of some of the oldest and most problematic water lines in the system.

The funding is through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, also known as PENNVEST. Funding through that authority may come as a low-interest loan or grant, and is a competitive process. The entire project was funded through a “Principal Forgiveness Loan” — essentially a loan that isn’t required to be paid back.

Explaining the project and the onus for it, Disney said that ever since the lead in the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, there’s been a push to replace lead water lines. While the local authority has had no issues with the lead connectors currently in use in the system, they wanted to take a proactive approach to get them replaced before issues arise.

Also at the meeting, Disney said a total of 41 new customers have tapped into the Kenmar Acres water main line extension, and two residential properties have paid the tap-in fee but remain to be connected.

Disney also said the pilot study on a feed polymer addition has been suspended, as there was no noticeable improvement to the sludge settling characteristics as a result. The study began Aug. 19 and was suspected on Sept. 16. Authority members are now considering other options to help eliminate floc carry over.

Bob Cummins Construction began work July 12th on the Gilbert Raw Water Pump Station. The location of the station building was adjusted to avoid existing water mains. The pre-fabricated building has been delivered and installed. Internal plumbing is underway and electrical service is being installed.