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Water Supply Emergency Declaration–August 13, 2021

Dear Bern Township Residents:

Please be advised that the Western Berks Water Authority is experiencing technical difficulties and their water plant is shut down until such time that they can make repairs. The repairs may not be completed until next week.

For those of you that are served by public water and live near the county facilities or the township building area, you will continue to receive water as the Reading Water Authority is now feeding the Western Berks / BTMA water lines.

The water authority asks at this time that you conserve as much water as possible if you are on any public water system.

Thanks for your cooperation in this matter. Take care and stay safe. 

Oil & Chip on Roadways

These roads have received oil and chip treatment: Van Reed Road between Route 183 and Leiscz’s Bridge Road, Leiscz’s Bridge Road near Van Reed Road, Leiscz’s Bridge Road at the rear of the airport, Hilltop Road between Reber’s Bridge Road and Upper Van Reed Road, Seidel’s Run Road and Snyder Drive.

The contractor should be sweeping the roads in about two weeks

An explanation of Oil and Chip on roadways

There are two thought processes with oil and chip: A correct process, and a wrong process. The correct process is to use this method on slightly aged roads that have pock marks and open pores. Oil and chip fills in the open pores and pock marks to make the roadway watertight again. This can extend the life of the roadway Leiscz’s Bridge Road and Van Reed Road fall into this category. The township patched the roadway last year with paving. The patched areas had open pores and many perimeter edges. Installing oil and chip, will prevent water from getting into and under the patched area. This will prevent the water from peeling or popping the patched areas off of the roadway, especially in winter / spring months.

There is another process for oil and chip called a “reverse seal” design. Oil and chip is used to seal the road underneath new paving when a road is shattered, or cracked very badly, what we refer to as alligator cracking The oil and chip is installed over the shattered roadway prior to the new paving overlay. The oil and chip glues together the spider webbed cracked areas to create a stable base for the new paving. We then install a 2 1/2″ paving overlay to provide structure to the new roadway. We have been utilizing this method of design over the last several years. It has worked very well for us.

The wrong thought process is to install oil and chip as a band aid to hold together a fractured road that is falling apart to glue it back together. Sometimes this is done as a cost effective temporary fix to a damaged road that requires a reconstruction that is currently unaffordable. Oil and chip is a very cost-friendly installation when compared to paving overlays.

Nobody likes oil and chip because the stones are laid loose over the road, then when they drive over it, they hear the stones hitting the bottom of their car. When you seal your driveway, you just use an oil sealer and keep vehicles from driving on it until it cures. Roads cannot be blocked off in the same manner, so stones are placed over the oil sealer to allow the continued use by vehicles. The cars work the loose stone into the oil and after a period of time, usually two weeks, the roadway is swept to remove any remaining loose stones. If the road is swept too quickly, you can remove too much stone and expose the oil. After the stones are swept, what remains is a watertight roadway with very little loose stone.

BTMA Bills & Payments

Getting Your Bill
BTMA bills are printed on postcards, then mailed to you via the U. S. Postal Service. Would you rather get your BTMA bill by email instead?Just click the green PDF link below and download the application form, fill it in, sign and return it to the BTMA office then we’ll set it up for you.
E-Mail My Bill Request Form

Several Ways to Pay Your Bill
BTMA offers an ACH Automatic Cash Transfer payment option: Your bill is automatically paid around the 22nd to the 25th each month using a bank account that you have selected. To apply fill in the PDF application form below, sign it and send it to the BTMA office. The ACH auto payment option has been described in the Bern Township Newsletter and has been available to our customers for about 2 years, at no charge to our consumers. Automatic Cash Transfer ACH Application Form
Pay Your Bill at VIST BANK on Rt 183
BTMA customers can also make their payments in person at the VIST Bank branch on Rt 183 at West Leesport Road, but to make your payment there you MUST have your BTMA bill, or a copy of it. 
Put your check in the Drop Box At Township Building
A drop box has been installed outside the building on the wall next to the front door of the Bern Twp. Municipal Building, but please pay by check, not cash if you use the drop box.

The BTMA Board is committed to keeping user fees steady for our 900+ customers so we try to keep our running costs low. (Rates for sewer customers went down just over a year ago.) We have two part-time employees who are always willing to answer questions for you.