News

CAPITAL REGION WATER SCHEDULED TO BEGIN FRONT STREET SEWER INTERCEPTOR REHABILITATION PROJECT

HARRISBURG, PA (September 5, 2019) — Capital Region Water is kicking off a project to rehabilitate a section of the Front Street Sewer Interceptor in Riverfront Park between Shamokin and Emerald streets in Harrisburg.

To protect public safety, the Park will temporarily close in the project area beginning Monday, September 9 and remain closed through Saturday, November 9. Riverfront Park users in the project area will be detoured to the sidewalk across Front Street.

The 105-year-old Front Street Sewer Interceptor carries an average of 2.3 million gallons of wastewater every day from the City of Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township to the Front Street Pump Station. Since the first time it was built in 1913, Capital Region Water has inspected and cleaned the Front Street Interceptor.

“Capital Region Water is committed to protecting public health and the environment by properly maintaining our wastewater collection system,” said Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “We appreciate everyone’s patience during construction as we address our critical and aging infrastructure.”

This project will install 1,765 feet of new pipe liner, called cured-in-place pipe, to rehabilitate the 30-inch diameter sewer pipe and prevent failure, sinkholes, and leakage. Cured-in-place pipe technology decreases the need for excavation and will be installed through manholes between Shamokin Street and Emerald Street in Riverfront Park along Front Street. Aboveground pipes will be placed along the park in the project area to bypass flows during the cured-in-place pipe installation. No full road closures are required for this project. Capital Region Water and a contractor had attempted this rehabilitation project last year but ran into problems with more significant deterioration than televising revealed as well as an unidentified utility conflict.

Customers with questions can contact Capital Region Water by phone at 888-510-0606 or by email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER AND ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY PROJECT’S REPORT

HARRISBURG, PA (August 22, 2019) — Capital Region Water and its Board of Directors today issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Integrity Project’s report.

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Capital Region Water is committed to reducing combined sewer overflows that impact our waterways and is working towards a significant reduction that works within the financial constraints of city residents. The City Beautiful H2O program plan includes both short- and long-term projects intended to have immediate and ongoing improvements to the system that will reduce overflows in the City of Harrisburg.

The challenges faced by the City’s system did not develop overnight and are the result of an aging system and decades of under-investment. We recognize the lack of past actions had detrimental impacts on the system, and Capital Region Water has been proactively addressing deficiencies. More than $110M has been invested in the system over the past five years, and Capital Region Water will continue funding infrastructure improvements and modernizations for years to come as we work to meet our water quality obligations.

Unfortunately, it is idealistic to believe the City of Harrisburg can completely eliminate overflows in the immediate future given the substantial revenue that would be necessary to overhaul and update infrastructure. Capital Region Water’s planning is focused on creating the greatest water quality impact within the financial capability of our ratepayers. A good deal of the City Beautiful H2O program plan is focused on a twenty-year planning horizon which is what is typically seen for many consent decree timelines. The program will continue beyond the efforts we undertake during the next 20-years. The program will continue (for decades) with the ultimate goal of receiving water quality attainment that will meet the small number of overflow events that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expecting, but our rate base cannot afford to eliminate overflow activity within this typical 20-year compliance schedule. Thirty-two percent of City residents live below the Federal Poverty Level. We simply cannot place an undue burden on these residents and must strike a balance of affordability with infrastructure needs. The $315MM program CRW has proposed will maintain the average sewer ratepayer bill at the “high burden” level or 2% of median household income. But we know those same rates will exceed 5% of the household income for a significant portion of the City’s population.

We are working with state and federal regulatory agencies to meet water quality targets, and we believe the stormwater fee proposed through the City Beautiful H2O program plan is the most fair and equitable approach to meeting those goals. Numerous factors were taken into consideration as the City Beautiful H2O program plan was being developed, and the plan places Capital Region Water and the City of Harrisburg on the path to achieving overflow reduction goals.

We share the collective concerns about the quality of our waterways and want to be a leader in modeling solutions that will help protect our creeks, rivers, and streams for generations to come.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER AND ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR LETTER OF INTEREST THAT THE CITY OF HARRISBURG POSTED TO GAUGE INTEREST IN PURCHASING THE WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM

HARRISBURG, PA (July 26, 2019) — Capital Region Water and its Board of Directors today issued the following statement in response to a Request for Letter of Interest that the City of Harrisburg posted to gauge companies’ interest in purchasing the city’s water and sewer system if the mayor moved for privatization.

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We share the mayor’s concerns about infrastructure. The challenges associated with maintaining and upgrading an outdated and aging sewer and water system are immense. At Capital Region Water, we face these challenges each and every day.

Since 2013, Capital Region Water has been working to advance a plan that is fair and equitable to ratepayers while also meeting state and federal regulatory clean water requirements. And we’re making progress. You can see the investments and improvements being made in every corner of our city and throughout our system regionally.

We need to build on this good work and continue with a community-based approach that restores our failing infrastructure, improves the health of our local waterways, and beautifies neighborhoods across Harrisburg and surrounding communities.

Given that most research shows rates increase approximately 60 percent when similar publicly-owned utilities are privatized, it is difficult, especially at this early stage, to understand how a plan like this benefits ratepayers. When ownership and operational control of water and wastewater systems remain local, customers experience better customer relations, better rates and higher quality products and services.

As we always do, we look forward to working with the mayor and city council on our shared priority to ensure our communities grow and thrive.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER ANNOUNCES THREE COMMUNITY MEETINGS TO LEARN MORE AND
PROVIDE FEEDBACK
ON A STORMWATER FEE PROPOSAL AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

HARRISBURG, PA (July 18, 2019) — Capital Region Water invites the Harrisburg community to three events to learn more about and provide comment on a proposed Stormwater Fee Proposal and Implementation Plan. Capital Region Water recently unveiled the proposal and implementation plan as the next phase of the City Beautiful H2O Program, a program necessary to improve the health of local waterways, address neighborhood needs such as localized flooding and beautification, rehabilitate failing infrastructure, and meet state and federal regulatory clean water requirements.

The meeting format allows residents to move through educational stations to learn more about the challenges of stormwater pollution, regulatory obligations, and solutions, including a new rate structure to fairly fund stormwater expenses. The final station will allow participants to comment on the proposal and plan. The August 6th event will be part of the 2019 National Night Out hosted by the Harrisburg Police Department. Light refreshments will be served at all events.

Tuesday, July 30, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Lincoln Administration Building
1601 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103

Tuesday, August 6, 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.
National Night Out at Camp Curtin Academy
2900 N. Sixth Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110

Thursday, September 12, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Cloverly Heights Park
18th and Pemberton Streets, Harrisburg, PA 17104

Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors will take public comments into consideration before acting to restructure rates later this fall. Public comments will be accepted online, by mail, and in person at upcoming community events and board meetings. All relevant documents and an opportunity to provide comments are available at capitalregionwater.com/cbh2o/. A hard copy of the proposal and plan is also available at 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Community organizations, businesses, and other interested parties are invited to request additional presentations of the plan by phone at 888-510-0606 or email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER OPENS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR STORMWATER FEE PROPOSAL AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Public Comment Period Through September 25

HARRISBURG, PA (June 27, 2019) — Capital Region Water announces the release of a Stormwater Fee Proposal and Implementation Plan for public review and comment through September 25, 2019. Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors approved the proposal and plan for public review last evening. The document provides funding recommendations for Capital Region Water’s City Beautiful H2O Program, an infrastructure investment program designed to further the foundation for growth in Harrisburg. The program is necessary to improve the health of local waterways, address neighborhood needs such as localized flooding and beautification, and ensure CRW meets its federal and state regulatory obligations. Investments in the City Beautiful H2O Program will total approximately $315 million over the next 20 years.

Capital Region Water explored various funding alternatives with the goal of creating an equitable approach that considers the financial capability of City residents. It is recommended that Capital Region Water restructure rates and adopt a stormwater fee. The proposed fee is based on the amount of stormwater each property generates. The amount of stormwater generated is determined by the area of impervious surface, such as asphalt, concrete, and buildings, on each property. If Capital Region Water continues to follow the existing rate structure, wastewater rates (based on drinking water consumption) would instead increase to cover necessary expenses. Under that scenario, residential customers, arguably those who can afford it the least, would face a more significant rate increase compared to a fee applied to both residential and non-residential properties.

“Capital Region Water is committed to pursuing the most equitable means of meeting clean water commitments,” said Capital Region Water’s CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “A stormwater fee lessens the burden on residential customers as it measures the impact a property has on our wastewater system and charges larger property owners that generate more stormwater their fair share of the cost of our program. The larger the impact, the larger the fee. It also provides incentive to manage or reduce stormwater onsite.”

Under the proposal and plan, single family residential customers will be assessed a flat monthly fee based on the amount of impervious area covering the property. The average residential property contains just over 1,000 square feet of impervious area and would see a flat fee of $6.15 per month. Added onto a typical residential wastewater bill of $29.45 in 2020, a residential customer would be paying a total of $35.60. Without a stormwater fee, a typical residential customer would see a more significant wastewater rate increase and would have to pay $38.74 per month. Residential properties with a larger impervious area as well as non-residential properties would see a site-specific fee assessed based on impervious area based on the same flat rate of $6.15 per 1,000 square feet per month.

Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors will take public comments into account before acting to restructure rates later this fall. Public comments will be accepted online, by mail, and in person at upcoming meetings. All relevant documents and an opportunity to provide comments are available at capitalregionwater.com/cbh2o/. A hard copy of the proposal and plan is also available at 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Community organizations, businesses, and other interested parties are invited to request additional presentations of the Plan by phone at 888-510-0606 or email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER’S 2019 DRINKING WATER QUALITY REPORT NOW AVAILABLE

HARRISBURG (June 12, 2019): Customers can now access Capital Region Water’s 2019 Drinking Water Quality Report online. The 2019 Drinking Water Quality Report identifies Capital Region Water’s source water, describes its treatment process, and summarizes compliance with drinking water standards in 2018.

The drinking water quality Capital Region Water supplied in 2018 outperformed all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection drinking water standards. Customers can access the report online by visiting capitalregionwater.com/2019waterqualityreport, or they can request a copy to be mailed to them by calling 888-510-0606.

Capital Region Water continues to invest in its water system to provide safe, reliable drinking water for current and future generations. In 2019, Capital Region Water is investing $1 million to install 1,400 feet of new water mains, $2.6 million to renew a section of water main below Cameron Street originally built in 1884, and $500,000 for installation of a chlorine gas scrubber system designed to ensure safety at the Water Services Center where water is treated.

Customers with questions can contact Capital Region Water by phone at 888-510-0606 or by email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER BEGINS $2.6 MILLION CAMERON STREET
DRINKING WATER MAIN LINING PROJECT

 HARRISBURG (June 10, 2019): Capital Region Water is kicking off a $2,600,000 drinking water main improvement project along Cameron Street today, Monday, June 10. This project will install a new pipe liner in the water main running below Cameron Street in Harrisburg between Calder Street and Goodwill Street. This structural liner will renew a section of water main originally built in 1884 to provide safe, reliable drinking water for years to come.

“This project is yet another example of Capital Region Water’s focus on best serving the Harrisburg community through smart infrastructure investments,” said Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “Using this cured-in-place pipe technology is a cost-effective and reliable alternative to excavating large sections of Cameron Street which reduces both expense and disruption for our ratepayers and inconvenience for motorists driving on Cameron Street.”

No full road closures are required for this project. Instead, there will be partial lane closures on Cameron Street during night and weekend hours when there is less traffic and some side streets during weekdays. Capital Region Water and its contractor, Dewcon, Inc., are coordinating with nearby properties to set up temporary service connections and hydrants for the project.

The project will be completed by the end of September. Additional sections of the drinking water main below Cameron Street will be addressed in future years.

A map of Capital Region Water’s 2019 Capital Improvement Projects can be found online at capitalregionwater.com/capitalprojects. Customers with questions can contact Capital Region Water by phone at 888-510-0606 or by email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER UNVEILS EMERGENCY BACKUP GENERATOR
DAUPHIN COUNTY PARTNERSHIP LEADS TO INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCY

HARRISBURG (June 4, 2019): Capital Region Water has completed installation of a 750-kilowatt generator system to supply emergency power for Capital Region Water’s drinking water treatment facility, the Water Services Center. Combined with existing storage capacity, the generator will provide Capital Region Water customers access to safe drinking water in the absence of electricity supplied through the grid during emergencies and natural disasters.

Capital Region Water serves the State Capitol and a population of about 60,000 in the City of Harrisburg, portions of Susquehanna and Lower Paxton Townships, and a portion of Penbrook Borough.

The project was included in Dauphin County’s National Disaster Resiliency Application for Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. Capital Region Water later received a $812,000 grant through Dauphin County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program.

Several partners joined Capital Region Water for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Water Services Center, 100 Pine Drive, Harrisburg, on Tuesday, June 4 at 11a.m. Speakers included:

  • Mike Pries, Vice Chairman, Dauphin County Commissioner
  • Eric Papenfuse, Mayor, City of Harrisburg
  • Charlotte Katzenmoyer, CEO, Capital Region Water
  • Marc Kurowski, Board Chairman, Capital Region Water

“This project illustrates Capital Region Water’s commitment to infrastructure resiliency and reduced costs for ratepayers through community partnerships,” said Capital Region Water’s Board Chairperson, Marc Kurowski. “We wish to thank the Dauphin County Commissioners and the Dauphin County Department of Community and Economic Development for the administration of funds critical to providing safe drinking water during emergencies with extended power outages.”

A map of all Capital Region Water’s 2019 Capital Improvement Projects can be found online at capitalregionwater.com/capitalprojects. Customers with questions can contact Capital Region Water by phone at 888-510-0606 or by email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER BEGINS DRINKING WATER MAIN IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

HARRISBURG (April 8, 2019): Capital Region Water is kicking off a $1,000,000 drinking water main improvement project this week in the locations listed below. This project will install 1,400 feet of new drinking water mains to improve water quality, service reliability, and flow for fire protection in the City of Harrisburg, Penbrook Borough, and Susquehanna Township.

“This project is part of Capital Region Water’s proactive capital improvement strategy to provide safe and reliable drinking water service while reducing long-term operational costs,” said Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “We thank our customers who live or work near these project locations for their patience and understanding while these improvements are made.”

Potential impacts of this construction include: street closures, parking restrictions, construction noise, temporary water service interruptions, and temporary roadway patches until final restoration can be completed, typically 90 days after temporary patching. Construction hours will be 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. This project will not require access to customers’ homes. Additional details will be provided to properties near the project locations in advance through door-to-door outreach.

Project Locations
Magnolia Street between South 12th Street and South 13th Street, Harrisburg
Ridgeway Road between Overbrook Road and Colonial Road, Susquehanna Township
Clinton Road between Cloverfield Road and Centerfield Road, Susquehanna Township
Herr Street and Laurel Street near Walnut Street, Susquehanna Township & Penbrook
Darby Road and Darby Place near Vernon Avenue, Susquehanna Township

A map of Capital Region Water’s 2019 Capital Improvement Projects can be found online at capitalregionwater.com/capitalprojects. Customers with questions can contact Capital Region Water by phone at 888-510-0606 or by email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER BEGINS ANNUAL FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING AND INSPECTION PROGRAM

HARRISBURG (March 29, 2019): Capital Region Water will begin its annual fire hydrant flushing and inspection program on Monday, April 1. It is expected to take six to eight weeks to reach all 1,800 fire hydrants in Capital Region Water’s service area.

Why is this needed?
Annual fire hydrant flushing and inspections are vital to maintaining high quality drinking water. Flushing removes buildup in fire hydrants and water mains. Crews also inspect each hydrant to ensure reliable use for fire protection. Capital Region Water quickly repairs any issues with fire hydrants to keep them in service. Over 70 fire hydrants were repaired or replaced in 2018.

How will this affect customers’ water service?
Fire hydrant flushing may cause a temporary discoloration of water and a temporary reduction in water pressure. The discoloration is not harmful and can be flushed by running cold water through a faucet, preferably at the highest point in their residence. Customers can call 888-510-0606 or email info@capitalregionwater.com with any questions or concerns.

Flushing Phases:
Flushing will take place in several phases and will begin near Reservoir Park and progress out toward Capital Region Water’s service area boundaries. Customers can check the progress of hydrant flushing on Capital Region Water’s website at capitalregionwater.com/hydrantflushing.

Public Notification:
Capital Region Water will be using an automated phone system, Nextdoor.com, and Twitter to notify customers as the flushing program progresses.
Customers can sign up to receive automated messages about hydrant flushing by subscribing to “Service Alerts” at capitalregionwater.com/alerts. You can also sign up over the phone by calling Capital Region Water at 888-510-0606.

More information can also be found at capitalregionwater.com/hydrantflushing. For questions related to their water or sewer service, customers can contact Capital Region Water at 888-510-0606.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER OPENS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
FOR REVISED DRINKING WATER RULES AND REGULATIONS
Two Public Meetings Will Be Held; Public Comment Period Ends May 3

HARRISBURG (March 28, 2019): Capital Region Water announces a public comment period for revisions to policies guiding the operation of its drinking water system, collectively called Drinking Water Rules and Regulations.

Changes include updates for clarity and consistency, a recently approved Leak Adjustment Policy, and a comprehensive Collections Policy. The Drinking Water Rules and Regulations were last significantly updated in 2002.

“Straight-forward and equitable policies are foundational to professionally operating our community’s water system,” said Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “Capital Region Water looks forward to reviewing public feedback but also using this opportunity to educate customers about our shared roles and responsibilities.”

Capital Region Water will accept public comments on the revised Drinking Water Rules and Regulations between March 28 and May 3. Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors will take public comments into account before it votes on the Rules and Regulations at their May 22 meeting. Public comments will be accepted in person at meetings, by mail, and online.

Two public meetings will be held with each meeting including a brief presentation and time for comments and questions. Light refreshments will be provided. All relevant documents and an opportunity to provide comments are available at capitalregionwater.com/rulesandregulations. Comments can also be mailed directly to Capital Region Water, with attention to Tanya Dierolf, at 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Customers can request a hard copy of the revised Rules and Regulations by calling Capital Region Water at 888-510-0606.

Public Meetings:

When:  Wednesday, April 10

       6:00 p.m.  – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Camp Curtin YMCA

       2135 N 6th Street

       Harrisburg, PA 17110

 

When:  Wednesday, April 24

       6:00 p.m.  – 7:00 p.m.

Where: CRW Board Meeting

       212 Locust Street, First Floor

       Harrisburg, PA 17101

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CAPITAL REGION WATER BOARD OF DIRECTORS SELECTS
EXPERIENCED PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR AS CEO

HARRISBURG (March 18, 2019): Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors announced today that Charlotte Katzenmoyer has been selected as Chief Executive Officer of Capital Region Water.

“Charlotte’s success leading the City of Lancaster’s Public Works including its water, wastewater, and stormwater systems for over 17 years made her an ideal candidate for Capital Region Water as we address similar infrastructure investments and regulatory obligations,” said Board Chairperson Marc Kurowski. “Her unique experience and commitment to transparency will help Capital Region Water continue to best serve our customers.”

As the Director of Public Works with the City of Lancaster, Charlotte led a team of 200 employees including the Bureau of Water and the Bureau of Wastewater which serve 140,000 people in the City of Lancaster and nine surrounding municipalities. While in Lancaster, Charlotte oversaw the modernization of Lancaster’s water and sewer infrastructure and developed a nationally recognized green stormwater infrastructure program.

“It is an honor to be selected CEO of Capital Region Water,” said Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “I look forward to joining a team of dedicated employees to enhance the Harrisburg-area community through resilient operations and long-term infrastructure investments as well as making Harrisburg a leader in green stormwater infrastructure projects to help eliminate localized flooding and improve neighborhoods.”

Charlotte graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and graduated from Lehigh University with a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering.

About Capital Region Water
Capital Region Water is a municipal authority providing drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services to 120,000 residents in the City of Harrisburg and surrounding area. Capital Region Water owns and operates its primary water source, the DeHart Reservoir, including 8,000 acres of forestland surrounding the reservoir and a drinking water treatment plant capable of treating 20 million gallons per day. Capital Region Water’s Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania within the Chesapeake Bay watershed capable of treating 45 million gallons per day.

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CAPITAL REGION WATER RESUMES REGULAR STREET SWEEPING

HARRISBURG (March 11, 2019): Capital Region Water resumed regular street sweeping today, March 11. Regular street sweeping has been paused since December 31 for the winter season.

Capital Region Water’s street sweeping program collected nearly 700 tons of debris in 2018, an amount equal in weight to 17 fully loaded tractor trailers.

“Regular street sweeping is one of many proactive measures that Capital Region Water invests in to keep storm drains and sewer pipes clear of debris and to reduce pollution reaching our local rivers and streams” said Capital Region Water Board Chairperson Marc Kurowski. “We encourage the public to lend a hand by picking up litter on their street and joining community clean ups.”

Capital Region Water’s next monthly volunteer litter clean up will be held at the intersection of Derry and Summit streets on Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m.  Clean and Green Harrisburg is holding its 7th Annual Great Harrisburg Litter Clean Up on Saturday, April 13, a citywide clean up that attracts hundreds of volunteers every year. More information about the Great Harrisburg Litter Clean Up can be found online at cactricounty.org/great-harrisburg-litter-cleanup/.

Moving forward, regular street sweeping may not occur when it rains, snows, or when temperatures are below freezing.  Parking enforcement will still occur even if street sweeping does not.  Residents should follow the Street Cleaning signs posted on their street.

The City of Harrisburg continues snow removal, leaf collection, trash removal, large debris removal from streets, and street sweeping for special events. Park Harrisburg continues parking enforcement in the downtown and midtown areas and the City of Harrisburg continues parking enforcement throughout the rest of the city.

Customers can contact Capital Region Water with questions about street sweeping at 888-510-0606 or by emailing info@capitalregionwater.com. Customers can also track the progress of street sweeping on Capital Region Water’s website at capitalregionwater.com/streetsweeping.

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