Call it the Brownwater Scandal.

Water quality issues aren’t a new thing in Sharpsville, but earlier this year residents who live on Woodland Road thought their problems would be a memory come year’s end.

People who live on the road must deal with brown, rusty tap water they have to bathe in and the deposits and residue that come with it as they try to use the water for laundry and such.

They buy other water to drink but still pay monthly water bills.

“I couldn’t see showering in brown water and paying the water bill,” Councilman Robert Piccirilli said Wednesday.

His colleague Jack Cardwell agreed.

“These people have had it and I couldn’t live the way they have to live,” Cardwell said.

The line was set to be replaced at a cost of about $200,000, but as borough officials dealt with the Pandora’s box that is the town’s water system, the money that could have paid for the project was spent on other system improvements.

Council members approved rebidding the project and finding a way to pay for it. They may get a bank loan or use money from the general fund. Council President Tom Lally said he’s sure there will be more discussion as the process moves forward and Councilman John Alfredo will assuredly scrutinize any decision.

Alfredo said he’s opposed to across-the-board surcharges or water rate increases to pay for projects that benefit select neighborhoods in the borough.

“I don’t see it as the fair way to go,” Alfredo said.

Councilman Alex Kovach disagreed.

“It’s still the same community; that’s the only fair way to do it,” Kovach said, likening the issue to school taxes, which even retirees pay although they aren’t students.

Another thing to consider is that replacing the line may not take care of the problem and it may even create a new one, Lally said.

“Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee the brown water will be fixed,” Lally said.

Once bids come back, council will decide exactly how to pay for the project.

Trending Video