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History of Water in Shippensburg

The first recorded water supply was in the area known as Fort Morris, that later became known as Shippensburg. This was in 1740 when Governor Thomas sent a 20-man garrison to the Fort. The settlement within the outer enclosure and the Fort had a dug well to supply their needs.

Between the time of the Fort and development of the first dam, cisterns were used to provide a more reliable source of water for the Borough. These cisterns provided a limited supply of water for the residents. It is believed that wooden pipes connected these cisterns to each other.

The site known as Stoney Point (on Furnace Creek) was found to have a spring of high-quality water. Land was purchased November 21, 1885, and construction of a dam began in December of 1885 and completed in1886. The capacity of the dam was around five (5) million gallons. Along with the dam, a pipeline was constructed to bring water to the Borough.

In April of 1886, the Shippensburg Borough Council established the position of Superintendent of Water Works and the first water rate schedule was established.

Between 1886 and 1904 a water source in Cleversburg was developed to supply the Borough with additional water.
Two (2) reservoirs were built on the hill above the current Scrafford Street (known now as the In-Town Reservoir). Water was piped into these reservoirs from both Cleversburg and Stoney Point.

In the spring of 1922 the Borough started to chlorinate the water supply.

In October of 1923, the Shippensburg Borough Council approved the purchase of a 250-gallon per minute pump to be installed at Indian Head Spring (Dykeman Spring) to pump water from the Spring to the In-Town Reservoirs. Before this purchase of the pump, a fire engine had to be used during periods of dry weather to make up for water shortages.

In 1926 a dam was constructed at the Cleversburg water source. This dam had a capacity of about one (1) million gallons.

Prior to 1933, the Borough purchased land on Trout Run, about 12 miles northwest of the Borough, between the Kittatinny Mountain and Blue Mountain, to provide for another water source for the growing area. In 1933, the Borough built a catch basin and intake structure to harness water at Trout Run. A waterline was run through the Roxbury Gap to Shippensburg by way of the Village of Mongul. Construction continued through 1934 and was a WPA project.

Shippensburg Borough Authority Formed

On September 12, 1950, the Shippensburg Borough Council created the Shippensburg Borough Authority by Ordinance #232. The Authority was chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on November 20, 1950, originally to finance the sewer system. On October 8, 1957, by Ordinance #294 the Borough Authority was given the power to operate the water system. In April of 1960, the Borough transferred the ownership of the entire water system to the Authority, but continued to operate the water system through a lease agreement.

Gunter Valley Dam Built

In 1960, construction was started on the Gunter Valley Dam and was finished in 1961. This replaced the old catch basin and intake structure and improved the storage capacity to 176 million gallons. The dam and water shed was sold to The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) in 2003 and in 2007 the water connection was disconnected and shifted to the Letterkenny Reservoir.

Additional Facilities and Water Sources

Well #1, in the Village of Cleversburg was brought into production as a new water source in 1990, upgraded permit to 1.2 million gallons per day in 1994.

Construction of the Gunter Valley Water Treatment Plant was started in 1990. The plant was completed and began producing treated water for the water system in 1991, permitted to treat 1.3 million gallons per day.

In 1990 and 1991, new water storage tanks were built in Roxbury and Cleversburg, with a storage capacity of 0.5 each.

In 1992 the Borough Authority started adding fluoride to the water supply.

Well #2 in Mainsville, began construction in 1993 and brought into production in 1994, permitted at 1.7 million gallons per day.

In 1993-1994 a new storage tank was constructed in Mainsville, with a storage capacity of 0.25 million gallons.

In May, of 2001, Indian Head Spring (Dykeman Springs) was taken off-line by DEP order for needing filtration.

In 2003, the Shippensburg Borough Authority took over the water facilities of the Huckleberry Land Water Association, which included a water storage tank with a capacity of 0.1 million gallons and a Booster Station.

In 2005, the Orrstown Borough Authority requested a merger with the Shippensburg Borough Authority and was approved by both authorities. The Orrstown system included a water storage tank, with a capacity of 0.15 million gallons, and a re-chlorination building.

A third well located outside the Village of Cleversburg, went into service January 1st 2009. This source has a capacity of about 1.5 million gallons of water a day.

In 2012, the W. Edward Goodhart Water storage tank was constructed in Southampton Township, Franklin County. with a storage capacity of three million gallons.