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How We Started

The Manufacturers Water Company (MWCO), a subsidiary of Cambria Ironworks and, most recently, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation (Bethlehem), was formed in February 1900 for the purpose of furnishing water to industrial plants in Johnstown, PA. In early 1997, Bethlehem Steel Corporation announced that MWCO was for sale.

Soon after the announcement of the sale by Bethlehem of MWCO, the Boards of Commissioners of Somerset and Cambria Counties initiated a process to determine if there was public support for the acquisition of MWCO.  To accomplish the analysis of sale, the joint County Commissioners contracted with the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy (SAC) to perform a public acquisition feasibility study.  The results of an extensive public participation process concluded support for acquisition of MWCO.

The Boards of Commissioners of Cambria and Somerset Counties came together in 1999 to form the Cambria Somerset Authority (CSA) to purchase and operate the land and water properties formerly owned by the MWCO.

The official transfer of ownership was completed in August, 2000.  CSA is a municipal authority guided by an 8-member board, with Cambria and Somerset Counties each appointing four members.

What We Do:

Aside from owning and managing 5,200 acres in Cambria and Somerset Counties, CSA has established three principle goals:

  1. Providing high quality, low-cost industrial water
  2. Creating diverse recreation opportunities for the citizens of the region
  3. Practicing regional watershed and land management conservation

The water supplied to steel industry-related customers is used for process and once-through cooling.  Water sold to Ebensburg Power Company and Cambria Co-Generation is used in the production of electricity by circulating fluidized bed boilers.  Several small commercial customers use the water for a variety of non-potable purposes.  The Greater Johnstown Water Authority can purchase raw water for filtration to 22,000 potable water customers within various municipalities in the Johnstown area.  In 2009, the Somerset County General Authority (SCGA) began purchasing water from the Quemahoning Reservoir for delivery to northern and central Somerset County.  The Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Fairview Power Generating Plant will start using water in late 2019.

Where We Are:

Cambria County

Wilmore Reservior
   Summerhill Township
   Munster Township
   Portage Township

Hinckston Run Reservoir
   East Taylor Township
   Middle Taylor Township

South Fork Dam
   East Taylor Township
   Conemaugh Township

Somerset County

Quemahoning Reservoir
   Jenner Township
   Quemahoning Township
   Conemaugh Township

Border Dam
   Paint Township
   Conemaugh Township

Facts and Figures

  • CSA is a landmark authority in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the unprecedented cooperation of two counties for common goals.
  • CSA is the sole provider of industrial water in the two counties, currently serving 13 industrial and commercial customers and 2 public water supply Authorities
  • Over 5,000 acres of land
  • 1,200 surface acres of water
  • 233,000 feet of large diameter (36-66 inch) water transmission lines
  • Reservoirs contain a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, pike, walleye, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and perch
  • CSA’s water availability as determined by water allocation vs. existing sales is in excess of 25 million gallons a day (MGD), collectively, from the three primary supplies: Quemahoning, Hinckston Run, and Wilmore Reservoirs

Historical Photos

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