Tarentum water valve project more costly than expected

October 29, 2018

Replacing water valves is going to cost Tarentum more than borough officials expected.

Council approved paying Cranberry-based Meyer Excavating just under $69,000 to do the work, which includes replacing nine valves at locations across the borough. The company submitted one of only two bids for the project. The other bid was for $72,000.

Tarentum officials expected the work to cost less than $50,000 .

Borough engineer Dan Schmitt said the cost is high because it’s specialized work.

“It’s just the nature of the business, itself,” he said. “There’s not a lot (of companies) that do that type of work.”

The valves help to isolate waterline breaks, reducing the number of residents affected when breaks occur, Schmitt said.

“Right now when a water break occurs, there may not be a valve for two or three blocks. What that does is it takes two or three blocks of people out of service. If we can isolate the break to a one block area, then only one block is out of service.”

Part of the project’s cost will be covered by a grant of a little more than $32,000, while the borough will cover the remaining $36,800 .

This is not the first time the borough has replaced or installed new water valves. Schmitt said Tarentum replaced five valves in 2016 and 11 in 2015.

“We’re better off than we were five years ago,” Schmitt said.

Meyer is expected to do the work in the winter or spring depending on weather conditions, Schmitt said.