On June 29th, a Facebook poster stated:
“Tragic house fire on Wagon Wheel Lane last night ~ there is no city water there, or on Bryson Rd. The closest hydrant was on Oak Rd.; tankers had to haul water to the blaze. The 3 story house was a total loss. West Deer Township, it’s time to get city water to the residents of Bryson & Wagon Wheel Lane!”
The house was a total loss, and burnt so quickly and so intensely that not much could have been done to save it. What most residents do not understand, however, is that most of West Deer Township is not serviced by city water and fire hydrants. That is why our volunteer fire departments have tanker trucks.
In addition, the Fire Chief stated that even if a hydrant was right in front of the house, it would not have helped last night.
When a poster says “West Deer Township, it’s time to get city water to the residents of Bryson & Wagon Wheel Lane,” they are making an assumption that West Deer Township is responsible for providing water service to the residents. It is not. There are separate water authorities (Oakmont Water, Hampton-Shaler Water, etc.) throughout the Township who are responsible for providing water service.
When a resident — or group of residents — desire city water, they need to contact their respective water authority directly. They are more than welcome to contact the Township, and we’d be glad to make a request on behalf of the resident(s), but the Township has no ability to force the authorities to bring new lines into the Township. The authorities are separate governmental units.
The last two roads to receive water service in the Township were Rittman and Henry Roads. The residents worked with the Oakmont Water Authority directly, and the Township served as a liaison between the two. The residents joined together to split the cost of the service between them. The Township — as it always does — agreed to provide for new hydrants on the new water lines, but that was the extent of the Township’s financial contribution.
So if the residents of Bryson Road and Wagon Wheel Lane desire to have city water and fire hydrants on those lines, the Township would gladly serve as a liaison and provide for the hydrants, but the residents would have to work with Oakmont Water (the water authority in that area) to have new lines installed.