Sunday, April 14, 2024

Schuylkill County Municipal Authority Celebrates 190th Anniversary

This past week, the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority (SCMA), formerly the Pottsville Water Company, celebrated its 190th Anniversary. 

On April 11th, 1834, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, represented by then Governor Joseph Ritner, and Secretary Thomas Burrowes, executed the Articles of Incorporation of the Pottsville Water Company (PWC). 

A total of nine commissioners were appointed to receive subscriptions of stock in the Company, totaling $20,000.00.

In May of 1836, an Agreement was executed between the PWC and Abraham Pott and Burd Patterson to purchase the property and for use of a natural spring at Eleventh an Mahantongo Street, currently the spring house on the grounds of the City of Pottsville Bicentennial Park. Proposals were accepted for the purchase of 3,500 feet of 6” cast iron pipe, forged at Swatara Furnace, Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, PA, and to extend water service from the spring, along Norwegian Street to Centre Street, thus becoming the first water supply in the City of Pottsville.

The PWC continued to expand its service area and sources of supplies with the construction of five (5) reservoirs on the Broad Mountain, and an additional reservoir in the Indian Run valley. In 1961, the Schuylkill County Commissioners created the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority and purchased the Pottsville Water Company for $7,522,000.00. A seven-member Board of Directors, appointed by the County Commissioners was set to govern the affairs of SCMA.

SCMA continued to expand its water service area and, in 1988, amended its Articles of Incorporation to include the addition of ability to provide sanitary sewage service and wastewater treatment.

Today, SCMA, the County’s largest water and wastewater treatment purveyor, services 26 municipalities and over 30,000 residents in the County. Since 1990, SCMA has invested over $193 million in capital improvement projects to expand, upgrade and construct new water and wastewater assets to provide sustainability to our valued customers. The Authority has been able to successfully acquire 13 other public and private systems, while continuing to expand its service area to promote economic development throughout the County.

Patrick M. Caulfield, P.E., SCMA Executive Director said, “It is with humility and humbleness that we celebrate our storied 190 years of history. Access to a clean, usable drinking water supply has served as the backbone of successful human settlements throughout history. Our forefathers provided the foundation for our valued staff to continue with our Mission Statement to ‘Serve Our Schuylkill County Customers with the Best Quality Drinking Water and to Provide the Most Reliable Wastewater Treatment Services’. We look forward to Plan for the Future and help make Schuylkill County a better place to live by continuing to provide such a critical service to our constituents.”

Assistant Director, Amy S. Batdorf added “I am honored to be a small part of the SCMA journey as we achieve another milestone. Our dedicated staff strives to provide exceptional drinking water and wastewater services to our customers. We look forward to building upon our historical successes and providing sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure for Schuylkill County residents.