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Bethlehem is a city of 75,000 people in eastern Pennsylvania - a city known for its rich colonial and industrial history. Today Bethlehem is experiencing an economic and cultural renaissance promising a future as bright as the city's past.
October 19, 2016
Several City of Bethlehem water customers have been experiencing discolored or cloudy water intermittently over the past several days which the City has attributed to large water main breaks that have occurred in a short period of time. We are taking this situation very seriously and are looking into every possible solution to clear up the water system as quickly as possible.
While the water is safe for consumption, we recommend that you use discretion when using water for cooking and washing clothes. If you are experiencing discolored water do not let your water run continuously. This will not clear up the water any faster. Run your cold water faucets only for a few minutes at a time to see if it starts to clear up. Repeat this step every hour or so until the water runs clear.
We suggest that you do not use your hot water while you are experiencing discolored water. This will only draw the sediment into your hot water tank.
If the water does not clear up after one day or you have an emergency involving your water please contact Water Control at (610) 865-7077.
(Bethlehem, PA—October 11, 2016)-- Mayor Bob Donchez announced today that the City will undergo a computer software upgrade that will require the shutdown of certain software, Community Plus and Finance Plus, from 9:00 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016 through Monday October 24, 2016. The City anticipates the upgrade to be complete by regular business hours Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
Financial Services: During the upgrade, City employees will not have access to account information and will be unable to process payments. The online payment service will also be unavailable during the upgrade. Therefore, if you need to make a payment, please make arrangements to do so prior to Friday October 21, 2016 or again beginning Tuesday October 25, 2016.
Water Utility/Customer Service: The upgrade will also limit access to Utility Account information including billing and payment information as well as usage information. In the event you experience a water emergency please contact Water Control at 610-865-7077. Full customer service access should be available by regular business hours Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
Permits: Additionally, the system upgrade will impede the ability of the Department of Community and Economic Development to issue permits. If you will require a permit during the period of the system upgrade, please arrange to obtain your permit prior to Friday, October 21, 2016. “It has been over 13 years since this part of the City’s computer system has been fully upgraded” said Mayor Donchez. “I want to thank everyone in advance for your cooperation”.
William Street: UGI will begin a gas line replacement project on William Street at 8th Street next week which will require the road to be closed to through traffic between 8th Street and 6th Street for a few weeks. Flaggers will be onsite at all times to allow buses access. Work will take place from approximately 8am - 3pm. The entire project will stretch from 8th Street north to the Skatepark; however, the portion between 6th Street and 4th Street will not be fully closed to allow for one-lane with flaggers. An update as to when this particular work will occur will follow at a later date.
The Landlord Training Program is designed to help owners and managers keep criminal activity off their property. The content of the course has been developed through a process of intensive research involving hundreds of organizations and individuals: landlords, management associations, private attorneys, public defenders, housing authority personnel, tenant screening companies, narcotics detectives, district officers, and many others. The program has won the approval of active landlords and concerned tenants alike.
From time to time the Water and Sewer Resources Department receives complaints from residents about individuals coming to their homes posing as City of Bethlehem employees. We are posting this advisory for the benefit of our customers.
Employees working for the City are required to carry photo identification cards. Residents should demand to see this card from anyone claiming to be from the Water and Sewer Resources Department. If the person cannot produce a City ID, the resident should ask them to leave and report the incident to the police.
Water and Sewer Resources Department employees drive city-owned vehicles while on duty. These vehicles have prominent city lettering, logos, and vehicle numbers. Residents should be suspicious if anyone claiming to be from the Water and Sewer Resources Department does not have a city vehicle.
It is unusual for Water and Sewer Resources Department employees to need to enter a property unless they are replacing a water meter. Furthermore, it is extremely rare for employees to show up unannounced at a residential property. Normally, if a property must be entered, arrangements will be made in advance by phone with the property owner.
If residents have any doubts about someone claiming to be an employee of the Water and Sewer Resources Department, they should notify their local police. Bethlehem Water and Sewer customers with questions about this issue are encouraged to call Customer Service at 610-865-7070 Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, or the 24 hour control desk at 610-865-7077.
The City formally commissioned its new Combined Sewer Overflow Facility on May 23, 2016. In attendance were Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, Freemansburg Mayor Gerald Yob, Borough Manager Judith Danko, Bethlehem Township Municipal Authority Director Steve Hunsberger and Bethlehem Township Finance Director Andrew Freda, along with workers from the City Water and Sewer Resources Department. The new facility is located on the banks of the Lehigh River approximately one-half mile east of the Minsi Trail Bridge. The City's sanitary sewer collection system is considered a combined system where storm water and waste water flow together in the same piping network in certain areas of the City. During periods of extremely heavy and prolonged rainfall, the increase in flow can exceed the capacity of the waste water treatment plant and the conveyance piping to the plant. This has resulted in sanitary system overflows, particularly in Freemansburg Borough due to its low elevation near the Lehigh River where a main sewer trunk line runs along Main Street.
Several years ago the US EPA issued an Administrative Order to the City to update its Long Term Control Plan in order to control sanitary system overflows. The new CSO Facility is designed to prevent these overflows from occurring by diverting the high flows experienced during heavy rains directly to the Lehigh River, and in the process protect the treatment plant and Freemansburg from becoming inundated by flood waters. The system can work by gravity when the Lehigh River is low or by pumping if the Lehigh River is above flood stage. Pumping capacity is rated at 45 million gallons per day. The system is designed to work automatically through a computer controlled system of flow sensors and valve and pump controls, or manually by city operators. The project was designed by Maser Consulting and LR Kimball. Site Project Management was provided by D'Huy Engineering. The General Contractor was Wickersham Construction & Engineering, and the Electrical Contractor was PSI Pumping Solutions. Construction cost was $3.2M which was funded by a municipal bond issue.
The City of Bethlehem Water and Sewer Resources Department will be collecting drinking water samples this summer from a select group of residential customers in order to comply with the 'Lead and Copper Rule' sampling plan which is part of EPA and PaDEP regulations.
The posted City of Bethlehem Street Sweeping Program is in effect from April 1st through October 31st. The program has been designed to facilitate the removal of dirt/debris/refuse from all roadways within the City. The regularly scheduled street sweeping routes that are main thoroughfares in the City are posted with 'No Parking' signs alerting motorists of parking restrictions for a given day and times. Vehicles must be kept off these posted streets to allow for affective street cleaning. Please be aware of these restrictions to avoid receiving a parking violation/fine.
Outside the posted streets, the City is divided into sweeping districts that are not posted and are typically swept at least two (2) times a season as resources and weather allow. During typical planned street sweeping activities, the sweepers will operate on a Tuesday through Friday schedule between 7:30 am and 2:00 pm, with operations on posted streets generally occurring between 7:30 am and 10:00 am/2:00 pm. Three (3) sweepers are typically deployed with two (2) assigned to completing the posted streets within the indicated posted times. Upon completion of all posted streets for each day's operation, the sweepers allocated to those streets will join the third active sweeper in completing assigned sweeping districts designated for that particular day. There are currently 90 districts for street sweeping. The map is located on the City website, here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Department of Public Works at (610) 865-7053.
The Fire Hydrant Flushing Schedule is available online.