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ing village in Black Lick Township near the western part of the
boundary of the county on the south branch of Black Lick Creek.
It is a mining town dependent almost entirely upon the operations
of the Commercial Coal Company with about 325 employees, and
the Big Bend Coal Company with about 200 employees. Water is
supplied to the public by the Marie Water Company, a corporation
deriving its supply from an impounding reservoir on Spring Bun
north of the village. The watershed above the reservoir is unin-
habited partly wooded and about one and a half square miles in
area. This supply has recently been augmented by the construction
of the Seldersville Reservoir with a capacity of 25,000 gallons, which
is supplied by springs immediately above it and the surface drainage
from about twenty acres. This area contains a dwelling occupied by
two persons. The Department has under consideration an applica-
tion filed by the company for permission to use this additional sup-
ply. The water company supplies practically all of the inhabitants
of the village. There are four individual private sewers discharging
into Coalpit Run, but no public sewer system. Privies are in general
use, principally dug in rock and provided with overflows. Both the
run and the creek are polluted by kitchen wastes disposed of upon
the surface of the ground and in gutters and by overflowing privies,
the drainage from which produces extremely unsanitary conditions.
It is estimated that probably 5,000,000 gallons of mine drainage are
discharged daily into the creek from the several mines around Big
Bend and the creek is also greatly polluted by mine drainage from
several points above.

Twin Rocks, Cambria County, population 350, is a mining town
practically a continuation of the village of Big Bend described above.
Water is obtained generally from two springs, one of which is liable
to contamination from surface drainage. There are no sewers nor
cesspools and the general discharge of kitchen waste, and garbage
and the overflow from privy vaults to the ground and streets produce
an unsanitary condition and a pollution of the stream.

Vintondale, Cambria County, population 1,800, is a borough sit-
uated at the junction of the north and south branches of Black Lick
Creek near the western boundary of the county. It is a mining town
dependent almost exclusively upon the operations of the Vinton
Colliery Company with mines and 150 coke ovens giving employment
to about 900 persons. Water is supplied to nearly all the inhabitants
by the Jackson Water Company, whose sources of supply are Bracken


Kun and Sehuman Bun, small streams with about fifteen persons
resident on the watersheds. In times of extreme drouth this supply-
is augmented by the use of water from the north branch of Black
Lick Creek obtained through the Black Lick Water Company. The
latter company pumps aboul 500,000 gallons of water daily for iudus-
trial purposes at the colliery and coke ovens and for washing all
of the coal that is used for coking. A few dug wells and a spring
are used to some extent for drinking purposes, the latter being liable
t<» pollution. About a dozen families have inside closets aud private
sewers to the creek, but privies are in general use and the soil being
hardpan there is considerable overflow resulting in extensive pollu-
tion to the ground, highways, and creek.

Wehrum, Indiana County, population 900, is an unincorporated
village situated on Black Lick ('reek in Bufliugton Township near the
eastern boundary of the county. Industrially the (own is dependent
upon the Lackawanna Coal and Coke Company, employing about 375
men. Water is supplied to the public by the Buffington Water Com-
pany and is derived from Rummels Kun, a rapid, mountain stream
with a population of about eighty resident on the watershed. The
entire population is served by this company. There is one twenty-
four inch sewer with about ten connections discharging into Black
Lick Creek, this being the only sewer in the village. Privies are in
general use, in several cases overflowing, aud kitchen waste to some
extent is sewered to the highways. One alley in particular receives
overflow from privies and kitchen waste and is used as a general
dumping ground for refuse.

Armagh, Indiana County, population 130. is a small, rural bor-
ough situated on the divide between Black Lick Creek, and the
Conemaugh Biver about two miles from the former and three miles
from the latter. The Kiskiminetas Coal Company has operations
some two miles from the borough. There is no public water system,
the inhabitants deriving their supply from dug wells. There are no
sewers and the privies which are universally used are in percolating
soil. Kitchen waste to some extent reaches Mardi's Bun, a tributary
of Black Lick Creek, which also receives the natural drainage of
the town.

Mechanicsburg (Brush Valley P. O.) Indiana County, population
150, a small rural borough with no industrial plants, is an inland
town near the head waters of Brush Creek, a tributary of Black Lick
Creek. The borough is without a public water system, the inhabitants
deriving their supply from individual dug wells and three drilled
wells. There are no sewers and privies are used universally, gen-
erally kept in fair condition. A few properties drain kitchen waste
to the highways.

Josephine, Burrell Township, Indiana County, population about
1,000. is an industrial village recently built in connection with the


extensive blast furnaces of the Josephine Furnace and Coke Company
on Black Lick Creek about one mile east of its junction with Two
Lick Creek. There are two water companies, both controlled by the
Furnace Company interests. The Josephine Water Company, which
supplies water for domestic purposes throughout the town derives
its supply from drilled wells, only one of which is in use, the several
remaining wells being available for future demands. The Furnace
Water Company supplies Avater to the Furnace Company for boiler
purposes from another one of these wells and for cooling purposes
from an intake in Black Lick Creek just above an eight-foot concrete
dam. The Furnace Water Company supplies water only for indus-
trial purposes and there is reported to be no connection between the
systems of the two companies. About fifteen houses on the west side
of the creek opposite the main part of the village have shallow privy
vaults, but aside from these and the office buildings of the company
which have six-inch sewers to Black Lick Creek, the houses are all
connected with an extensive sewerage system having a single outlet
thirty inches in diameter discharging into Black Lick Creek just
below the village.

Indiana, Indiana County, population about 7,000, is a borough
and the county seat, and is situated near the head waters of Stony
Bun, a small branch of Two Lick Creek, the latter being one of the
principal tributaries of Black Lick Creek. The town has a few in-
dustries, including the Dugan Glass Company's plant employing
about 200 hands, two foundries, two grist mills, a car factory,
woolen mills, and a tannery, but it is mainly dependent on extensive
soft coal operations in the vicinity. The rich coal deposits in this
neighborhood are being developed on a large scale and a recent rapid
increase in population is likely to continue. About two-thirds of the
population are supplied with water by the Clymer Water Company
which derives its supply from Two Lick Creek at a point about three
miles above Burrell. The drainage area above the intake is about
seventy-eight square miles and contains several mining settlements,
including the village of Clymer, with a population of about 3,000 per-
sons. On May 28th, 1907, the Commissioner of Health issued a per-
mit to the Clymer Water Company to extend and improve its water
works system by the construction of a filter plant, reservoir, etc.,
under certain conditions and stipulations. The filter plant was con-
structed, but all the conditions of the permit were not carried out
and the operation of the plant, in consequence, has as yet not
been highly successful. Private wells and springs throughout the
borough supply the remaining third of the population with water for
domestic purposes. While there are both public and private sewers
in the town, privies abound and there are some cesspools. The pub-
lic sewers are built in accordance with a comprehensive plan to re-
ceive sewage and roof water together with some cellar drainage and


are all connected with and discharge through a single eighteen inch
outlet to a sewage disposal plant on the bank of Stony Run. About
seven miles and a hall' of sewers are connected with this system.
While Spring Knn and March Run, both tributary to Stony Run, are
largely polluted by the sewage discharge from private outlets and
the manufactural wastes, especially from the brewery, woolen mill,
and tannery. In view of the former extensive pollution of Stony
Run and particularly the loeal nuisances caused thereby, the
Commissioner of Health on June 10th, 1007, issued a decree re-
quiring the preparation of revised sewerage plans and plans for
the treatment of the borough sewage, suggesting that the borough au-
thorities provide compulsory connection with the publis sewer system.
On September 3rd, 1907, a special permit was granted for a single
sewer extension, pending the submittal of the plans previously called
for and on May 28th, 1908, the Commissioner of Health issued a permit
approving proposed sewerage plans and sewage disposal works. The
brewery, woolen mill and tannery wastes are sufficiently extensive to
create a decided local nuisance in Stony Run independent of the sew-
age pollution which has heretofore existed. The sewage disposal
works consisting of settling tanks, sprinkling filters and chemical
disinfection of effluent for the borough of Indiana, were constructed
and started in operation by May, 1011, and at the close of the year
1012, substantially the entire sewage of the borough was being treated
at the plant.

Homer City, Indiana County, population 1,200, is a borough sit-
uated at the junction of Two Lick and Yellow Creeks about three
miles above the confluence of Two Lick and Black Lick Creeks. Its
industries include the Prairie State Incubator Company, employing
eighty persons, the Guthrie Tuck Manufacturing Company's
planing mill with eight men, and the Nix Gas Engine Company.
There are also large coal operations near by. There is no pjublic wa-
ter system, the inhabitants obtaining water from drilled and dug
wells and springs. There is no sewerage system, nearly every house
having a privy. A large number of properties discharge kitchen
waste into the highways. The Prairie State Incubator Company's
plant has a six-inch sewer discharging sewage from the plant into
Yellow Creek.

Graceton, Indiana County, population 700, is situated on Two
Lick Creek above and adjoining Coral village which in turn is just
above the junction of Two Lick and Black Lick Creeks. It is a
village dependent upon the operations of the Graceton Coke Company
which has mines and 202 coke ovens. The coal used for coking is
all washed. The Graceton Coke Company has a pirivate water sup-
ply system serving their plant and supplying the public with water
for domestic purposes. Water is derived for domestic and to some
extent for industrial uses from mountain springs, but the supply is


inadequate and is reinforced by pumping from Two Lick Creek. In
addition to this supply there are eight drilled wells. There are two
private sewers in the town, one four inches in diameter and serving
the store and office building of the company, the oilier ten inches in
diameter and serving four residences, both sewers discharging into
a small run. Each house has a privy said to be cleaned out annually,
but in many cases frequently overflowing. Garbage and kitchen
waste are discharged indiscriminately into the highways. About
8,000,000 gallons of water daily are used at the washery in prepar-
ing coal for coking and a large amount of coal in susj>ension is thus
carried into the stream.

Coral, Indiana County, population 500, is a village situated on
Two Lick Creek just below the village of Graceton and just above
the junction of Two Lick and Black Lick Creeks. The town is in-
dustrially dependent entirely upon the operations of the Joseph
Wharton Coal and Coke Company, operating a large mine and about
300 coke ovens. Water for domestic purposes is obtained from drilled
wells about sixty feet deep. The company has a private supply for
industrial purposes derived from mountain springs with three reser-
voirs, total capacity 43,000,000 gallons, located on high ground above
the village. An auxilliary supply is obtained from Tulip Creek and
large quantities of water are used from this source for washing the
coal in preparation for coking. There is no sewerage system and but
one private sewer. This serves the company's office and store. Out-
side privies are in general use, in many cases overflowing and the
highways receive much kitchen wastes and garbage.

The Fish Commission has stocked a number of suitable streams
in Indiana County within the Black Lick Creek sub-basin with trout,
bass, yellow perch, and pickerel. The Josephine Furnace and Coke
Company has analyzed Black Lick Creek water at Josephine and
also the driven well water. In Table LI the results are given.


Analyses of Black Lick Creek Water and of Well Water at Josephine by the

Josephine Furnace & Coke Company.

Grains per U. S. Gallon.



Oxide of Iron and Alumina, ,

Calcium Sulphate,

Magnesium Sulphate,

Magnesium Chloride,

Sodium Chloride

Volatile and Organic Matter,

Total Solids

Free Sulphuric Acid

Magnesium Carbonate

Calcium Carbonate,

Sodium Sulphate

Black Lick Creek Water.

Sept. 25

. 1.63

Jan. 26,







Drilled Well Water.

Sept. 22














There are sixty-eight coal mini's in the Black Lick Creek sub-basin.
Of these seventeen have the mine drainage pumped which amounts to
6,465 gallons a minute. The remaining fifty-one mines drain by
gravity discharging 7,885 gallons a minute making a total of 14,350
gallons a minute of mine drainage that reaches the waters of the
State in this sub-basin. In Table LI I are given the typhoid fever
cases reported by the local authorities of the boroughs in the Black
Lick Creek sub-basiu to the State Department of Health for the years
1906 to 1912 inclusive.


Typhoid Fever Cases Reported for the l' Lick Creek Sub-Basin,
1906—1912, inclusive.

Vintondnlc, .
Nant-j Glo, .
Homer City,
Indiana, —

Ch hut























6. — Survey of Loyalhanna Creek Sub-Basin.

In the Loyalhanna Creek Sub-Basin there are the communities
of Ligonier, Donegal, Youngstown, Latrobe, and New Alexandria.

Ligonier, Westmoreland County, population 2,500, is a borough
situated in the upper part of the Loyalhanna Creek watershed at
the junction of Mill and Loyalhanna Creeks. There are no manu-
factories of importance, the village being formerly a lumbering town,
but of late years a farming community and much frequented as a
summer resort. A sanatorium is located in the centre of the borough.
The town has a municipal water supply derived from Furnace Run,
a clear mountain stream forming one of the headwaters of Loyal-
hanna Creek, and about three-quarters of the population are served
with this water, the consumption being estimated at 60,000 gallons
a day. Privies abound in the borough and there are a few cesspools.
Sink and wash water is usually emptied into street gutters and al-
leys. On July 3rd, 1000, the Commissioner of Health issued a
permit to the borough for the construction of a sanitary system of
sewers and requiring the erection of a sewage disposal ptlant for the
purification of the borough's sewage. Some sewers have since this
been constructed. The stream at this point is heavily polluted with
sewage from Ligonier and many mining settlements above the bor-
ough, especially on Mill Creek where there are a large number of
mines and coke ovens.

Donegal, Westmoreland County, population 160, is a borough sit-
uated in the southeastern part of Westmoreland County on the di-


vide between the Allegheny and Monongahela watersheds, a part of
its drainage reaching the Allegheny by way of Four Mile Run, one
of the principal tributaries of Loyalhanna Creek, and a portion flow-
ing into the Youghiogheny River by way of Indian Creek. It is a
rural community without industries except that a number of inhabit-
ants are employed in saw mills in the nearby mountains. There is
no public water supply, the people depending upon individual sources,
including twenty -five dug wells, one drilled well and eight springs.
There are no sewers and the privies which are universally used ap-
pear to be well cared for.

Youngstown, Westmoreland County, population about ,550, is a
small borough situated on Nine Mile Run about one mile from its
point of discharge into Loyalhanna Creek, just above Latrobe. It is
a rural community without industries, but there are extensive coal
and coke operations in the surrounding territory, especially above
the town on Nine Mile Run. The borough has no water system and
the inhabitants depend upon drilled and dug wells. There are no
public sewers and but two or three private sewers from individual
properties, beside a few drains for sink water discharging into the
highways or runs. Among the more important coke operations on
Nine Mile Run are 400 ovens of the H. C. Frick Coke Company at
the village of Baggaley and 355 ovens of the Hostetter-Connellsville
Coke Company at Hostetter village. In consequence of these exten-
sive operations, Nine Mile Run contributes to Loyalhanna Creek large
quantities of acid mine water.

Latrobe, Westmoreland County, population about 10,000, is a
borough situated near the central part of the county on Loyalhanna
Creek. It is the centre of what is known as the Latrobe coke field
and the mining and coking of coal is carried on to an enormous ex-
tent in its immediate vicinity, this forming the dominant industry
of the region. Aside from these operations the principal industrial
plant in the borough is the Latrobe Tire Department of the Railway
Steel Spring Company, giving employment to about 1,000 persons.
Other industries in or near the borough are the Pierce Manufactur-
ing Company's woolen mills, employing about 110, the Mississippi
Glass Company, the Peters Paper Company, the West Latrobe
Foundry and Machine Company with about 50 employees, and two
large brick yards, that of the Latrobe Brick Company giving employ-
ment to about thirty persons. There are also six slaughter houses in
the borough. Water is furnished to the entire community by the
Latrobe Water Company, a corporation deriving its supply from
Loyalhanna Creek at Kingston, a short distance above Latrobe. The
consumption is 3,000,000 gallons a day, half of which is used for in-
dustrial purposes, the company having 1,800 domestic service taps
and seven industrial taps. The watershed above the company's in-


take is lift}* square miles in extent with a large rural and industrial
population including Donegal and Ligonier Boroughs and a great
number of collieries and coke ovens especially on Mill Creek above
Ligonier. A large part of the borough is served by combined sewers,
some of which are private, but all laid without regard to any pre-
pared comprehensive plan. About one-half of the houses have
privies, many of which are connected with private sewers. Garbage
is thrown out indiscriminately. Loyalhanna Creek from Latrobe to
its junction with the Conemaugh at Saltsburg is a highly polluted
stream and ai low stages the water is almost iuky black. This is
the result mainly of mine drainage and water used at the coke ovens,
but there are several polluting factors in the vicinity of Latrobe,
which, but for the wastes from the coal operations, would produce
loeal nuisances. Even under present conditions, the effect of these
wastes on the stream is clearly visible and highly offensive. The
washings from rags and waste pulp from the Peters Paper Company's
plant above Latrobe pollutes the water and produces a mass of
slime and ooze in the creek during low stages. The wastes from the
slaughter houses are extensive and particularly offensive being
clearly visible in the stream. At the Pierce Manufacturing Com-
pany's plant the stream is evidently polluted with dyes.

New Alexandria, Westmoreland County, population 450, is a bor-
ough situated on Loyalhanna Creek about ten miles from its mouth,
industrially dependent upon extensive coal and coke operations in
its vicinity, notably at Salem ville, Crab-Tree, and Luxor. There is
no public water system. The inhabitants depend upon drilled and
dug wells and three springs for water for domestic use. The only
sewerage facilities are afforded by two old stone drains, formerly in-
tended for surface and cellar drains only, but now having a number
of kitchen wastes and sanitary connections. Well kept privies are
in general use ; but owing to the percolating nature of the soil there
appears to be danger of contamination of some of the wells.

The waters of the streams in the upper portion of this sub-basin
beyond the coal mining operations are suitable to sustain fish life
and here the State Fish Commission has placed trout, bass, and
yellow perch.

There are fifty-nine coal mines in the Loyalhanna watershed.
From twenty-five of them the drainage is pumpied amounting to 22,-
915 gallons a minute. There are thirty-four mines that drain by
gravity yielding 3,575 gallons a minute, making a total of 26,490
gallons a minute of acid mine drainage discharged into the streams
of the State within this basin.

In Table LI II are given the typhoid fever cases reported by the
local authorities of the towns in this sub-basin to the State Depart-
ment of Health for the years 1906 to 1912, inclusive:



Typhoid Fever Oases Reported for the Loyalhanna Creek Sub-Basin, 1906—1912,



Latrobe, . . .





















7. — Survey of Conemaugh River Valley — Johnstown to Avonmore.

Along the Conemaugh River from Johnstown to Avonmore are
the following municipalities : -Johnstown, Ferndale, Dale, Daisytown,
Westmont, Rosedale, Brownstown, Seward, New Florence, Garfield,
Bolivar, West Bolivar, Derry, Cokeville, Blairsville, Black Lick,
Livermore, Jacksonville, Saltsburg, and Iselin.

Johnstown, Cambria County, population about 60,000, is a city
situated in the southwestern part of the county at the junction of
the Little Conemaugh River and Stony Creek, which here unite to
form the Conemaugh River. Clustered about the city and on the
streams above and below it are a number of settlements and boroughs
which, with the city, form a single community. It is a thriving man-
ufactural district with numerous industrial plants, the dominant
industry being the manufacture of iron and steel and the mining of
coal. The three plants of the steel works are practically one enterprise
beginning at Franklin and extending down throughout the city, giving
employment to about 13,000 men. The company formerly operated ore
mines near the city, but they have been practically worked out and ore
is now brought in from outside. Coal is extensively mined within the
city limits, chiefly by the Cambria Steel Company. The Johnstown Wa-
ter Company supplies the greater part of the public in the city and
neighboring boroughs with water for drinking purposes from vari-
ous sources, including Mill Creek, Balton Run, St. Clair Run, Laurel
Run, Wildcat Run, and Salt Lick Run, the intakes averaging about
five miles in distance from the centre of Johnstown. An auxiliary
supply may be and has been obtained from the Manufacturers Water
Company and from the Cambria Steel Company, two industrial sup-
plies noted below. Balton Run, Mill Creek, and St. Clair Run yield

Online LibraryPennsylvania. Dept. of HealthReport on the sanitary survey of the Allegheny River Basin → online text (page 24 of 43)