East Stroudsburg Borough owns and operates it own municipal water supply and distribution system, and sewage collection and disposal system. Water and sewer customers are billed quarterly by the Borough based on actual metered water usage.
HISTORY OF BOROUGH WATER SYSTEM
The Borough has operated a public water system for well over 100 years. The first water supply for the Borough in the 1890’s was a direct intake of untreated water from the Brodhead Creek, and water was piped into town. In 1914 the Borough acquired property along the Sambo Creek outside of town for the purpose of constructing the first dam and impoundment for a water supply reservoir, with the water piped several miles into town for distribution to homes and businesses. In the early 1930’s the Borough acquired additional properties near the headwaters of Sambo Creek in Middle Smithfield Township for the construction of a much larger water supply reservoir. With funding and labor provided by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), the East Stroudsburg Dam was constructed in 1936, which impounds a water supply reservoir holding 302 million gallons of water at full capacity. The smaller Middle Dam and Reservoir, or Intake Reservoir, was also constructed as a WPA project more than a mile downstream from the East Stroudsburg Dam. Water drawn from the Intake Reservoir was then chlorinated (but otherwise untreated) before being piped downhill from Brushy Mountain into town.
The current East Stroudsburg Water Filtration Plant was constructed in 1964 just downstream from the Intake Reservoir. Filtration is provided via three sand filters with disinfection provided via chlorination. The Water Plant is permitted to output up to 2.3 million gallons per day (mgd) of treated water. In the 1950’s, because of concern for occasional droughts affecting the reservoir water supply, the Borough received permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters (predecessor of the current PA DEP) to construct a somewhat unique engineering feature, the Michaels Creek “Diversion Ditch”. The Michaels Creek diversion directs water from the nearby Michaels Creek into the East Stroudsburg Reservoir via a “gravity powered” swale that follows the contours of the land for over two miles. Under the original 1959 permit, the Borough is permitted to divert water from the Michaels Creek from September 1 through May 30 of each year to supplement the waters of the Sambo Creek flowing into the East Stroudsburg Reservoir. In the 1960’s the Borough drilled two wells in town to supplement the reservoir water, especially during summer months. In the 1990’s the Borough added two new large capacity wells, located at Dansbury Park, to further supplement the reservoir water supply.
As the former industrial center of Monroe County, East Stroudsburg Borough formerly provided public water to several large industrial companies operating in the Borough. The largest of these in terms of water usage was Stroudsburg Dyeing and Finishing Company, which closed in 1992 (now the location of Walmart off Lincoln Avenue). The Borough’s water customer base now is primarily residential, and total water usage averages just over 1.3 million gallons per day (mgd). In 1999 the Borough entered into an agreement with the Stroudsburg Municipal Authority (now the Brodhead Creek Regional Authority) to sell water in bulk to the Authority, which in turn provides the water to customers in portions of Smithfield Township and Stroud Township adjoining the Borough. As part of that Agreement, the Borough also transferred over to the Authority various customers located in the Townships that the Borough had been serving directly; to avoid having rates charged by the Borough for those customers becoming subject to regulation by the state Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Today (March 2010), the Borough provides water service to 2,500 customers and over 3,800 separate units located within the Borough. The Borough sells water in bulk to the Brodhead Creek Regional Authority, and that amount is anticipated to increase in the future as growth occurs in the neighboring townships. Water supplied by the Borough is of the highest quality, and is the least expensive public water in the entire Poconos Region. For current information on water quality, please refer to the next section entitled 2019 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report, otherwise known as the “Consumer Confidence Report” or CCR, for the Borough Water System.