Water Authority History

The Authority was created, under the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, as amended and supplemented, on February 5, 1942 as an operating authority to distribute supplies of fresh water for industrial and domestic purposes within its service area. The authority is governed by the Act and a Board that consists of five members who are appointed by Portage Borough, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. The Authority currently serves Portage Borough, Portage Township and Cassandra Borough.

The Authority owns the Benscreek and Martindale reservoirs and treament plants. The Authority uses these reservoirs as its supply sources. The Authority has the ability to withdraw 1 million gallons per day for these sources. In additon, each reservoir site has a well for backup.

J.C. Martin purchased land in Portage and a large portin of land surrounding the present site of Portage. He constructed a small reservoir at “Fiddlers Green”. Then later constructed a large reservoir at Martindale, which is a few miles southeast of Portage

Mr. Martin sold the plant to Horace Tompkins who in turn sold it to the Portage Water Company.

Portage Water Company increased the capacity of the reservoir to 17,500,000 gallons by raising the breast of the wall.

The spillway at the Martindale reservoir had been repaired.

Purchase Water Company sold its holdings to the Jersey Shore Water Company, a subsidiary of the General Water Works and increased the capacity of the reservoir to 18,000,000 gallons by removing the soil from the bottom.

A 300,000 gallon tank was installed on Mountain Avenue, one of the highest points in the borough, maintains a constant pressure in the distribution system and suppplies the highest points.

The Martindale reservoir spillway had washed out entirely and a new spillway was built.

The Council of the Borougho of Portage creaged the “Municipal Authority of the Borough of Portage” consisting of five board members to enter into negotiations for purchasing and operate the water works for the betterment of the town.

The Authority was created, under the Pennsuylvania Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, as amended and supplemented, on February 5, 1942. In April 1942, negotiations began with the Jersey Shore Water Company. The authority assumed control on October 1, 1942.

In time the Martindale reservoir spillway developed cracks in the concrete sides and underflow, and there was danger that the concrete sides would collapse and destroy the supply of water. The authority engaged the Pressure Concrete Company to make the repairs.