Bethlehem is taking a step toward regionalizing Northampton County's water service.

Mayor John Callahan announced Tuesday that the city will take over East Allen Township's municipal water service.

The city and the township have been negotiating the deal for the past three years.

Callahan said East Allen residents can expect to see their water rates go down as a result of the acquisition. He also said Bethlehem's water service is only running at about 50 percent capacity, so there's plenty of room to grow.