U.S. Water News Online
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- An expanding sinkhole near
Houserville may threaten an underground water source that supplies
residents of College Township and Penn State, officials said.
Geology professor Richard Parizek said the hole started in
mid-October on a bank of Slab Cabin Run under the Mount Nittany
Expressway overpass. There are four wells downstream, three serving
the University Park campus and the fourth making up half of the
College Township Water Authority supply.
Parizek said the hole, expanded in recent weeks by heavy rains,
could offer a conduit to the underground water reserves that supply
all of the wells. If surface water from the creek reaches the purer
groundwater, state health rules may force closure of the wells,
Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh termed the problem a significant
one, and he said the water authority is closely monitoring its nearby
well. Penn State is running similar evaluations at its three wells,
Brumbaugh said the township water authority could draw on its
other well to fulfill water needs. Past accounts indicate University
Park could depend entirely on wells in the Big Hollow area if the
Houserville-area source were shut down.
The state Department of Transportation has hired the State College
firm HRI Inc. to correct the situation and will pay the cost of
almost $86,000, officials said.
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