Fox Twp. continues to await DEP response on Toby Water

Photo by Amy Cherry - Fox Township Supervisors Dave Mattiuz, Mike Keller, and Randy Gradizzi discuss various items during the Wednesday evening meeting.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Fox Township continues to await the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) response regarding the future of Toby Water.
In May the township submitted proposals to DEP about the future of the water supplier. The two options the township proposed were to conduct a dramatic expansion of the reservoir or to engage in a permanent hookup with the St. Marys Water Authority, currently supplying water to Toby Water customers.
Supervisor Mike Keller stated the township has yet to hear from the DEP about the matter.
Randy Gradizzi, supervisor and road master, explained the DEP is conducting an analysis on Toby Water based on numerous factors.
The township is now required to have a conservation release allowing for a minimum flow of water from a dam or reservoir to be maintained at all time in the stream channel immediately downstream. This type of release is used to serve public health, environmental quality, aquatic life, and recreational use. Determining the amount of water which should be released is based on watershed size, historical stream flows, the storage capacity of the reservoir, and impact to wetland hydrology above or below the reservoir.
According to Gradizzi, the DEP claims the reservoir is not large enough to provide enough water during drought periods.
He added one idea would be to switch to St. Marys water from Toby Water during those droughts.
"We as a township have to think of the future and what may happen to the water and the land and conserve it," stated one resident.
Keller noted the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania controls all water in the state.
Gradizzi voiced his frustration over the delay in not hearing from the DEP.