Emporium Water Company
The Emporium Water Company was incorporated under Pennsylvania law on July 16, 1886. The initial system, consisting of watershed lands, Towner Run Reservoir, and a system of main lines was constructed in the years 1886 and 1887. Regular service to customers commenced in the year 1888.
We serve approximately 1.500 customers in the Emporium, PA area. We are a small, but mighty team of 6.
The Emporium Water Company serves domestic, commercial, and industrial customers and furnishes public and private fire protection service in the Emporium Borough and Shippen Township.
Facilities & Operations
Early History •
The Towner Run Reservoir was constructed in 1886 and 1887 by R.D. Wood Company at a cost of $30,000. It consisted of an earth embankment dam, with a concrete corewall and rip-rap on the inner side, built across the stream channel. It was located about two miles west of the borough of Emporium. It had a watershed of about 300 acres flooding about three-quarter of an acre, and maintained a capacity of 1,200,000 gallons.
Water is conveyed to the borough by gravity, through 8 inch cast iron pipe. The original Salt Run Dam was built in 1892 as the Towner Run Dam was not sufficient to meet demands. This dam was also at a price of $30,000 and had a 3,000,000 gallon capacity. In 1912, increased demands required an addition of the present day dam at a cost of $40,000. This dam was built downstream of the original Towner Run Dam, about 2.75 miles northeast of the borough in Salt Run. It consists of an earth embankment dam, with a concrete corewall and spillway. During 1917 through 1919, in accordance with the instructions of the State Water Supply Commission, the reservoir was strengthened by placing additional embankment on the downstream side, the spillway was enlarged and other improvements were made. In 1940, further additions and repairs were made to the reservoir. These included increasing the height of the dam by 3.6 feet, widening the top of the dam from about 14 feet to 20.5 feet, adding new fill on the upstream side with a 2 to 1 slope, adding a new wingwall at the east side of the spillway to accommodate the new embankment, constructing a new intake tower, constructing a cut-off trench at the toe of the upstream slope, and extending a concrete cut-off at the west end of the spillway.
In 1951, the capacity of the spillway was increased by raising the spillway height and the dam by two feet. This reservoir has a watershed area of two square miles, floods about 10 acres, and maintains a capacity of 43,000,000 gallons. The water is conveyed to the borough by gravity through 2.75 miles of 12 inch cast iron main.
In 1950, a new 500,000 gallon welded steel storage tank was built in Wheaton Hollow north of the borough of Emporium. This was constructed for additional storage as well as enhancing fire protection capabilities. A 16 inch main was installed at this time from the storage tank to Woodland Avenue and Garden streets, as well as connecting to mains along Route 46.
The water company was purchased by Deer Park Lumber in January, 1990.
1995 Improvements •
In 1995, The Emporium Water Company had an extensive improvement project to include a new water treatment plant and office building, new storage tank near Towner Run, Towner Run pump station, additional water intake and transmission main to the filter plant, altitude valve pit at Wheaton Hollow, and various main line replacements.
The Driftwood Branch intake and raw water transmission main allows for the withdrawal of water from the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek as a source, additional to the existing Salt Run source. This water is pumped from the Driftwood Branch through a new 8’ ductile iron main line approx. 7800 feet to the new Salt Run Water Treatment Plant for filtration. The Salt Run source has inadequate yield to provide enough raw water during periods of dry conditions.
An altitude control valve pit was constructed at the existing Wheaton Hollow tank to control the level of water as it is pumped from the treatment plant. An automatic control device has been installed to eliminate flow into the tank once the water reaches a predetermined level.
The Towner Run storage standpipe was needed to provide water service at a higher hydraulic gradient on the west side of the water company system. To continue to provide adequate pressure to 90 customers, formerly served by the unfiltered Towner Run Reservoir, a finished water storage standpipe (220,00 gallons) has been constructed near the existing reservoir. Because the high level of the new Towner Run storage tank is at a higher level than the level in the existing Wheaton Hollow tank, a new booster tank takes water from the Wheaton Hollow tank and pumps the filtered water to the new Towner Run storage tank. This Towner Run booster station is located just west of the Emporium Borough along RT. 120.
The Tannery Heights waterline was a main replacement project. This area was served by an inadequately sized line that provided no fire protection. This line was replaced with a new 6” ductile iron waterline and two new fire hydrants were added.
The Sizerville Road waterline is a new waterline to serve twenty one existing customers. Previously, these customers were served from the 12” raw water line coming from the Salt Run Reservoir. To provide these customers with filtered water, a new waterline connected to the filtered water system was constructed.
2015 Improvements •
In 2015, Emporium Water Company had another major system improvement project consisting of three projects. The largest of the projects- the Britton Hollow storage tank, was added for additional storage and fire protection and also to allow future repairs or upgrades to other areas in the system without loss of these needs for storage and fire protection. This tank is a 500,000 gallon concrete tank with solar panel for transmitting water level signal back to the plant.
The second phase of the project was to install a booster station to pump water into a new storage tank in the Sylvan Heights area. These projects were done simultaneously to provide fire protection and storage to those customers in the immediate area, with a storage cacity of 150,000 gallons.
The third phase of this project consisted of installing an emergency generator at the filter plant in the event of a power grid failure. Upgrades were also necessary to our communication system to all of our various sites throughout the system. Mission Communication System is a highly secure system that allows us consistent communications and alarm systems to all of our storage tanks, booster stations, and filtration plant. In the event of a major power failure, the emergency generator has the capability of operating the filtration system consistently as long as required.
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Our Current Team
Previous Team Members
1979 - 2007 (28 years)
1983 - 1999 (16 years)
1992 - 2020 (28 years)