In addition to supplying water for all residents, the City also sells water to both Cornplanter Township and Cranberry Township. All water is sourced from dug and drilled wells along the Allegheny River. The City has been very active in water line replacements and water pump station upgrades in the last fifteen years (a combination of work being completed in-house by City personnel and work being done by contracted companies).
The Oil City Water Department currently employs ten full-time water operators, all of which hold a state water operator license and attend continuing education to keep up to date with current regulations. The Director is Jason Herman, who can be reached at (814) 678-3033. These licensed employees work tirelessly to maintain vital infrastructure and equipment responsible for producing and distributing 100% of the water sold within City limits.
Water Department Responsibilities
Curb & Valve Boxes: These are shut-offs for the service and main lines. Whenever a leak occurs or a waterline is to be shut off, it is done from the curb or valve box. These must be cleaned, raised and kept in working order. If you notice that your curb shut-off is damaged in any way please contact us to schedule a repair.
Fire Hydrants: Both the Water and Fire Departments maintain the City's 472 fire hydrants, which require maintenance year-round to keep in working order. Hydrants must be cleaned, lubricated, and flushed annually, and water must be pumped out of the hydrant barrels for the winter months to prevent freezing and damage. As such, you will see Water and Fire Department personnel flushing hydrants every year, typically in the fall months and usually at night so as not to interrupt the daily use of the water system.
Service Lines: Each structure in Oil City has a service line where leaks can occur. Most of these leaks are on old pipes. The Water Department detects and assists wherever necessary to ensure leaks are repaired quickly. In some cases, one line may service two structures and new tapes are installed to provide separate service lines. Service lines are also removed from the mains when there are abandoned buildings or structures demolished.
Main Lines: The main water lines in the City date back to 1872, many of which have been updated over the years, but failures can happen. If you notice a loss in water pressure or water coming out of the ground in an unusual manner, let us know as soon as possible. If it's after 4 pm or on the weekend please contact the Oil City Police Department for assistance.
Utility Locates: PA One Calls are required by the State and are a vital tool in keeping underground utilities protected when excavation is necessary. You can call 811 and the City will mark all water lines in the area where you plan to dig.
Equipment: The Water Department has a wide variety of trucks, excavation equipment, and hand tools along with multiple pump stations and water equipment. The maintenance and cleaning of the Water Department equipment must be completed after each operation to ensure equipment remains in working order and will be ready for an emergency.
Building Maintenance: Plumbing and seasonal shut-offs on all City structures such as City Hall, the City Garage, Park Garage, pool, fountains and bathrooms at the parks and marina are completed by the Water Department.
Mapping: The Water Department works collaboratively with the Engineering Department to update and maintain City maps showing water valve boxes, main lines, and service lines.
Water Service Line Replacement
The water service line running from the curb shut-off to the house is the owners' responsibility. If it is leaking, the line will need to be replaced or repaired. Check with the Oil City Code Department prior to starting any work on the service line. A plumbing permit may be required. A PA One Call must also be completed prior to digging. Simply call 811 or 800-242-1776 and utility representatives will come to locate other utilities that may be buried in the area.
If a galvanized steel pipe serves your home, replacing it is the only solution. Repairs typically last only a few days.
The pipe used to replace the service line can be "K" copper or copper tubing size HDPE, 200 PSI rating, with stainless steel stiffeners. The minimum size is 3/4 inch. All the fittings must be designed to be used underground. When using HDPE, a tracer wire must be installed. The new line should be buried at least four feet deep. Frost levels do not normally get this deep so your waterline will be protected. The City's Engineering Department is able to provide more specifications as you prepare to work on the project. Reach the department at 814-678-3020 or via the "Contact Us" page.
When digging near and around the curb box, be careful! This is where trouble occurs. If the line is broken here it makes a big, muddy mess. In this area the ditch needs to be at least two feet wide and big enough for someone to work in. When the new pipe is ready to be connected, call the Engineering Department at 814-678-3020 and someone will be sent to the site.
Citizen Guide - Proper Disposal of Pharmaceuticals
This brochure was developed to make our community aware of the importance of proper disposal of prescription medications. We encourage all residents to take advantage of our Pharmaceutical Take-Back program by disposing of outdated and unused medications in the Police Department Lobby.
This brochure was developed to make our community aware of the importance of protecting our water supply. Once groundwater becomes contaminated, the cleanup often takes many years and can be very costly. It is in our community's best interest to take the proper precautions to prevent contaminants from entering our groundwater.
The City of Oil City routinely monitors the quality of your drinking water according to all Federal and State Laws. A Consumer Confidence Report is prepared annually to help residents stay informed on their water quality. It is required by law that we share this annual report with all our water customers.
What kind of concerns should I report to the Water Department?
Please contact us if you notice any water surfacing on the ground that isn't normally there or if you hear strange noises coming from your water meter or plumbing. These instances can be reported M-F, 8 AM - 4 PM by calling 814-678-3020. If you have an emergency outside of these hours, please contact the Police Department at 814-678-3080.
I need to do some repair work on my lines. What should I do?
If your service lines need repaired or replaced, you should first contact the Oil City Code Department to determine if a plumbing permit is needed. When you are almost ready to commence work, call PA One Call to have all underground utilities located.
I'm installing a new waterline and would like to tap into the City's water main. What should I do?
Contact the Engineering Department with your plans. A tap-in fee will be assessed based on the project specifications.
Does the City maintain a source water protection plan?
Yes, the City has an extensive source water protection plan. However, due to regulations imposed by Homeland Security, we maintain the plan privately so as to protect the location of our wells and other key water system sights.
Where can I learn more about water conservation?
Water conservation materials are currently offered on our website, in the lobby of City Hall, and by contacting the Engineering Department at 814-678-3020 or through the "Contact Us" page. For more information, take a look at the American Water Works Association's webpage https://www.awwa.org/.
How can I learn about the quality of my water?
Review the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) on our website. To have a hard copy mailed to you, please contact the Engineering Department at 814-678-3020 or through the "Contact Us" page.
Pay A Utility Bill
In one convenient place, you can pay your utility bills and get connected with the appropriate city departments to find answers to frequent questions.