Water authority suing blower maker

The Altoona Water Authority has sued the manufacturer of blowers used to aerate the tanks in the authority’s two recently renovated sewer treatment plants, alleging the blowers are performing poorly.

The authority has held off filing a complaint against Atlas Copco North American LLC, however, in hopes that by doing so, the parties will be able to reach a settlement more quickly.

Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron had previously threatened to dismiss the suit if the authority didn’t file a complaint but granted a stay based on the authority’s contention that talks were progressing and that filing a complaint would hinder efforts “to find an amicable resolution,” according to court documents.

“The blowers are designed to run to specific standards,” said Todd Musser, the authority’s director of wastewater treatment operations. “They’ve not achieved (those) standards.”

Under certain conditions the blowers perform well, Musser said.

But when the tanks are full and the load is heavy, they don’t, he indicated.

The impact on plant operations is not so much on treatment effectiveness — as the plants overall are performing well — as on efficiency, Musser said.

Replacement of the blowers could be part of an eventual settlement, he indicated.

The sooner the matter is resolved, the better, he said.

Atlas Copco lawyer Jerrold Anders from Philadelphia declined to comment.