WYSOX TOWNSHIP - Much of the work on Wysox Township's new $9.9 million municipal water system has now been completed.

The installation of 12 miles of water main for the system, which will serve almost 500 residences and businesses, is close to being completed, said senior project engineer Eric Casanave of Sitffler, McGraw & Associates, which designed the water system.

A 257,000-gallon water storage tank located off Lake Road at 1,315 feet above sea level, from which water will flow to the water system's customers, has been constructed, he said.

And 1,568 feet of 14.8-inch water pipe has been installed approximately 35 feet underneath the Susquehanna River, which will carry the water from Towanda Borough that will supply Wysox Township's water system, he said.

"We expect (the water system) to be completed this year," Towanda Municipal Authority Manager Tom Fairchild Jr. said at the Towanda Borough Council meeting on Monday. "The project will be up and running at the end of this year, if not next year."

The 1,568 foot-long water pipe was installed in a 24-inch bore hole that was drilled through "shale-type bedrock" underneath the river, Fairchild said. The 1 3/8-inch thick water pipe underneath the river was constructed out of high-density polyethylene, which is "really, really tough stuff," Casanave said. A cement-like grouting was installed between the outside layer of the pipe and the "interior wall" of the bore hole, he said.

Some final work needs to be completed on the below-river water pipe, including pressure testing it and disinfecting it, Casanave said.

Then, the ends of the below-river pipe will need to be connected to the 12-inch PVC water main that is being installed along U.S. Route 6 in Wysox Township and to the Towanda Municipal Authority water main underneath Main Street in Towanda Borough, which will supply the water for Wysox Township's system, he said.

The TMA water main, which runs in a north-south direction, is located "a little west of the center line" of Main Street, Casanave said.

Constructing the connection to the TMA line will require making a trench cut through the intersection of U.S. Route 6, state Route 2027, and Means Street, which is located at the west end of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, Fairchild said. Work at the intersection is planned to take place at night, said Mike Harkins, a construction superintendent for a contractor working on the project, James T. O'Hara Inc. of Covington Township,

Harkins said he hoped to have the work in the intersection completed in one to two nights, but said it would take longer if workers encounter rock underground. Steel plates will be installed over the trench during the day, so that traffic through the intersection will not be restricted during the daytime, he said.

Work at the intersection will take place this summer, although he said he did not know the exact date it would begin. Work at the intersection cannot start until the work associated with below-river pipe is completed, Casanave said.

Yet to be installed is a pump station along Lake Road that will pump water into the 257,000 gallon storage tank, he said. The storage tank "can't really be seen from the road," he said.

Also yet to be installed is an underground master meter station, which will be used to measure the amount of water that is supplied to Wysox Township's water system, he said.

The meter station will be installed at the intersection of state Route 2027 and U.S. Route 6 in Towanda, but will be some distance away from the planned Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park, he said.

After the construction of the water system's water mains are completed, disinfected and pressure tested, then the laterals from the mains to the residents' meter pits will be constructed, he said. The meter pits will generally be at or near the residents' property lines, he said.

The property owners will be responsible for hiring a construction company to construct a service lateral from their meter pit to their home, he said.

The Wysox Township Municipal Authority will be providing all residents with specifications governing their water hookup, he said.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.