High water bill threatens to keep College Manor Swimming Association swimming pool dry this summer

Reading Area Water Authority says it will not shut off water to the nonprofit's pool

Water bill threatens to keep swimming pool dry this summer

READING, Pa. - It's sink or swim time for a nonprofit organization that's been in business in Reading since 1955.

The College Manor Swimming Association has been battling with the Reading Area Water Authority for eight months over a bill, which is 12 times higher than normal.

Dan Sodomsky, association president, said the water bill would put the pool out of business, and now he's threatening legal action.

"I'm basically serving notice to RAWA that we're not kidding around," said Sodomsky, who claimed the pool's meter readings are grossly inaccurate.

The swim club is trying to keep its head above water. It received a $6,500 bill from RAWA in July 2013, plus a 10 percent per month late charge. The bill said the pool used 386,000 gallons of water, which is twice its capacity.

"They just thought this would come down to us throwing another check or two at it," said Sodomsky.

According to Sodomsky, the bill doesn't make sense. The water line feeds one spigot, which is used to top off the water as needed because RAWA fills the pool at the beginning of the season from a hydrant out front at no cost.

"We've worked hard as volunteers to make sure that everything gets upgraded, and this has very much been a distraction," said John Brown, a board member for the pool.

Sodomsky said the association tested for a leak and the water was not left on, and he claimed meetings with RAWA were cancelled. The board has now voted to authorize legal action if necessary.

"We're not looking for a legal battle, but we'll do whatever we have to do to stay operating," said Sodomsky.

RAWA would not comment Wednesday, but officials told 69 News they will not shut the water off at the pool. Officials said they will be out at the pool Thursday to run tests on the meters.

Sodomsky said he wants to avoid getting another high bill, and wants everything resolved before Memorial Day weekend.

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