About The Reading Area Water Authority
The first public supply of water delivered in Reading was introduced in 1821 by the Reading Water Company. The water works then consisted of the Hampden Springs, a 2 1/2 inch earthenware pipe leading to a small covered basin near Eleventh and Court Streets, and wooden pipes in the streets for distributing the water. As the population of the town increases and additional sources of water supply were introduced, all of these earlier pipes were replaced with larger pipes.
In 1865, the City of Reading purchased the entire works of the water company for $300,000. It consisted of the Hampden Springs, Bernhart, Egelman and Mineral Spring gravity supplies; 3 basins at Eleventh and Penn Streets; 12 miles of cast iron pipes; 39 fire hydrants, 110 street valves with wooden boxes; and 147 acres of land with improvements.
At present, the water supply for the City of Reading is obtained mainly from Lake Ontelaunee. Lake Ontelaunee was constructed in 1926 and is located about eight (8) miles north of the City. Lake Ontelaunee has a water surface area of 1,082 acres and a capacity of 3.88 billion gallons. The design safe yield is 77 million gallons per day.
Raw lake water is delivered to the Maidencreek Filter Plant by gravity via a 2,800 foot long, concrete lined, 81 inch diameter, pressurized tunnel and a 60 inch diameter, 4,880 foot long, concrete conduit respectively.
The Maidencreek Filter Plant was constructed in 1935. Additions were made in 1956 and major renovations were made in 1994. The plant capacity is 40 million gallons per day of treated water. The Centrifuge Plant is located adjacent to the Filter Plant. Its function is to separate sludge solids from its liquid form for disposal at the water authority's landfill.
The treated water from the Maidencreek Filter Plant flows by gravity through four (4) 30-inch siphons. These pipes are laid under Willow Creek to a five (5) million gallon clear water storage basin, then to the Maidencreek Pumping Station.
The Maidencreek Pumping Station capacity is 25 million gallons per day. Its average daily pumping rate is 11.5 million gallons. The water is pumped to the City's distribution systems by three (3) force mains; a 36 inch, 30 inch and 24 inch diameter water mains.
The Reading Area Water Authority is proud to serve the City of Reading by operating and maintaining the city's water system.