Walnutport's water system was a private system established in 1902. The system utilized springs two miles northeast of the Borough. The water system was developed by a private company for the purpose of providing clean water in lieu of contaminated well water.
In the early 1920's, a severe outbreak of enteritis sickened many people and caused several deaths. The Borough assumed control in 1934 with issue of a bond for the purchase of the system.
Throughout the 1930's to early 1980's, Walnutport Borough operated the water system but could no longer afford the expenses to maintain the system by 1980.
The Walnutport Authority offered to assume operation of the water system and the Borough turned over operation in June 1980. The Borough also supplied the Authority with its chief water operator and $20,000 from the water collection account.
By the fall of 1980, a severe drought had struck eastern Pennsylvania, forcing the Authority to impose water restrictions. During this time, the Authority opened a $100,000 line of credit with a local bank, using the money to rehabilitate existing wells at Oplinger Reservoir.
To compound matters, the sanitary sewer system was installed the year before and the recent excavations were still settling, causing many breaks on water mains and service lines. On January 12, 1981, the combination of drought, main breaks, and severe cold, caused the water system to run dry. A state of emergency was declared by the mayor and the story made nationsl television news on all three networks.
The Authority and local fire company enlisted over 20 tank trucks to supply potable water to its reservoirs. At the same time, an emergency connection was made at a local abandoned slate quarry and the reservoirs we refilled in 48 hours. After the crisis had ended, the Authority enlisted the aid of state and federal politicians, in securing low interest loans and grants. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, the Authority replaced over 6 miles of aging cast iron and asbestos cement water mains with ductile iron pipe. The largest single project was funded by PennVest in 1991. A new well, a new one million gallon enclosed reservoir that replaced the uncovered Oplinger Reservoir, and 7000 feet of transmission main were constructed at this time at a cost of $900,000. During the 1990's, the Walnutport Borough funded $1,500,000 in street reconstruction requiring the Authority to replace several thousand feet of water main and service lines at of cost of $300,00. Afiltration plant was added to Well#5 in 1999 for removal of iron and manganese at a cost of $400,000.
The last major project was the replacement of the orginal 1903 water main on Main Street in 2003. The Authority ceased using Heimbach and Fisher Reservoirs in 1999. In 2004, the Authority began engineering work and pilot studies for the the required filtration of these two sites.
Since then, the Authority has completed construction of a filtration plant at Heimbach Reservoir in 2014, increasing the available amount of potable water to the system. The Authority and Borough have been awarded a grant for water main replacement and street reconstruction for Lehigh Street to begin sometime in the future.