Spring, not sewer, has sprung leak By Chip Smedley, Staff Writer email@example.com
A report of sewage oozing from the ground on Second Lock Road in Lancaster Township turned out to be unfounded.
The water draining over the curb is being produced by a natural spring, not a broken sewer line. That's according to a spokeswoman for CDM, an engineering firm working for the Suburban Lancaster Sewer Authority and investigating the report.
The concern was understandable, not only because of the danger of open sewage but because of the location It's near a densely populated area off the New Danville Pike, just south of the Lancaster sewer plant, close to the Hawthorne Ridge development.
The spokeswoman noted that "the sewer lines to the development aren't in Second Lock. They run behind all of those properties."
She said there are no plans to try and block the spring.
A resident in the first block of North Plum Street in the city asked about the status of 14 N. Plum St., where arson claimed the life of Olga Sanchez-Reyes and injured two children Dec. 5, 2010. No arrests have been made.
The city condemned the property the day after the fire, and now the owner is rehabilitating the structure.
Randy Patterson, the city's director of economic development and neighborhood revitalization, explained via email that in the rehab agreement, the owner indicated all work would be completed by March 30. (The work began last October when the property was acquired from the authority.)
"If the work is not completed, we would expect the current owner to appear before the Redevelopment Authority Board on April 16 to provide an update and, if necessary, request an extension of time," Patterson said.
"The owner is required to complete the renovations within 12 months" of acquisition, he added. "Normally the board will grant extensions at least to the end of the 12-month period as long as progress is being made."
Patterson said the owner will be trying to sell the property.
The Watchdog contacted city police spokesman Lt. Todd Umstead for an update on the Sanchez-Reyes case. He said it remains an "open investigation."
A county bicyclist noted PennDOT fixed problem bumps on the north and south ends of the Richard Scott Bridge connecting Prince Street with Manheim and Fruitville pikes -- but only in the vehicle lanes, not the bike lanes.
(To refresh memories: A driver complained about bumps caused by the sinking of the asphalt road surface leading onto the concrete bridge surface.)
PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said the bridge was patched March 8. He added that the work was done with cold-patch material, a temporary fix that can pop out in a heavy storm or in heavy traffic.
Permanent patches will be applied when asphalt plants reopen in April and start producing hot asphalt.
A city resident wanted to know how to report illegal parking.
The nonemergency police number for such reporting is 664-1180. The nonemergency fire and ambulance number in the city is 664-1190.
The report two weeks ago on trash strewn along Route 30 between the Prospect Road and Route 441 exits generated questions from readers about enforcement and education.
Q: Who monitors whether vehicles hauling trash are covered when traveling to or from a waste facility?
A: The state's municipal waste code requires every vehicle traveling to and from a facility in Pennsylvania to be tarped or enclosed. Workers at the scales or managers at Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority facilities monitor the trucks, said spokeswoman Kathryn Sandoe.
"Our compliance officers won't allow anyone to cross our scales if they're not tarped or enclosed," Sandoe said. This includes commercial haulers and individual residents with loads in trailers or pickup trucks.
In addition, both the state Department of Environmental Protection and state police conduct checks at facilities to ensure regulations are being enforced.
"They don't tell us when they're coming," Sandoe said. "They just show up."
Q: Who is responsible for citing vehicles that spill trash as they drive?
A: The municipality where the road is located. For example, the section of Route 30 west of Prospect Road is in West Hempfield Township.
West Hempfield police Chief Mark Pugliese said his officers have the power to issue citations to drivers of trucks (commercial and noncommercial) that are leaking trash.
He also said his department works with other departments in the county to post truck inspection officers on highways that have problems with trash or overweight vehicles.
"We hit the roads fairly frequently," Pugliese said. "And now that the weather is breaking I've asked our officers to be out there even more."
He said drivers behind trash-spewing vehicles can call police and report the license number so they can be on the lookout for the vehicle.
Q: How can volunteers get involved in litter awareness and pickup programs?
A: The national Keep America Beautiful program and its relatives -- Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and Keep Lancaster County Beautiful -- offer that information.
Kids' activity booklets can be obtained at keeppabeautiful.org through its educational resources link.
Keep America Beautiful also partners with Scholastic magazine to provide recycling, litter and green living information at scholastic.com/kab.
Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority has educational materials for schools and civic groups, according to spokeswoman Sandoe.
She said students can ask their schools to set up "Litter Free School Zones"; information on that is also available at keeppabeautiful.org.
The authority will help schools set up recycling programs. The contact for that is Recycling Manager Barb Baker at 735-0160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And last week, PennDOT, which coordinates the state Adopt a Highway program, announced it is seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, which runs through May 31. Listings of events, resources and other information are online at gacofpa.org.
PennDOT noted that during last year's cleanup, more than 141,000 volunteers collected 6.7 million pounds of trash from roads, trails and shorelines in the state.
PennDOT provides gloves, trash bags and safety vests to volunteers; participating landfills offer free trash disposal to volunteers during six scheduled events between April 20 and May 6.
All this made The Watchdog wonder if anyone remembers an iconic anti-litter ad from the early 1970s featuring a Native American crying as he paddled his canoe across a trash-strewn lake.n