Portage Borough
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System History

The watershed contains over 700 acres of heavily timbered land and extends Southeast to the Cambria-Clair County line.  Numerous speings produce an abundant supply of water.  The 18,000,000 gallon reservoir is located 2,200 feet above sea level.  Since the reseroir is located at a much higher level than the points of consumption, a reducing valve is used to protect fixtures. 

The spillway of the reservoir had been repaired in 1917.  In 1936 it washed out entirely and a new spillway was built.  In time it developed cracks in the concrete sides and an underflow, and there was danger that the concrete sides would collapse and destroy the supply of water.  In 1949, the Authority engaged the Pressure Concrete Company of New Jersey to repair it a cost of $6,668.00.

Begun in April, 1952, the reconstruction of State Route 164 from Portage through Martindale to the Cambria-Blair County line was made trouble for both the customers and the board members. Mud has washed on the watershed and has caused the water in the reservoir to be muddy for the first time in the history of the water works.  The resemption of operations this Spring has relieved the condition. 

Water is fed to the distribution system by gravity.  Leading from the reservoir approximately a fifth of a mile of 10" pipe.  For approximately a third of amile there is a double line of 6 and 8 inch pipe.  A mile of 8 inch pipe and two miles of 6 pipe follow.  The Authority has arrangements to place 6" pipe along the mile of 8" pipe and plans to lay 10" pipe along the two miles of 6" pipe.  There are 30 miles of pipe ranging from 6 to 12 inches in size in the service area in addition to service lines that range from 2 inches to one-half inch in size.  A 300,000 gallon tank installed in 1935 on one of the highest points in the borough maintains a constant pressure in the distribution system and supplies the highest points.

The Authority building in Portage contains an office, a shop, a meter testing apparatus and and a garage.  A gage that shows the water pressure is located in the shop.  Trucks, machinery, and small parts are stored in the garage.  A lot of storing pipe is located at a railroad siding. 

Since its inception, the Authority has purchased two new trucks, a compressor, a thawing machine, a pipe pusher, and smaller equipment.