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Water on the Way for Parched Delaware Canal in New Hope

With most of America captivated by news of record rainfall and flooding in Texas and Florida this week, one small area of the country that’s actually in need of some water may soon get a break.

A portion of the Delaware Canal that runs through New Hope has been dry since Aug. 27. The culprit: a broken pump upriver at Centre Bridge. Fortunately, the problem was fixable, and an impeller was sent off to Chicago for rehabilitation, according to Susan Taylor of the Friends of the Delaware Canal.

“The state park service stepped in and got to it quickly, and we should be back in business and pumping away for some time to come,” she explained.

Hey, hurry up!

Taylor hopes the water may begin flowing back into the canal as early as Friday.

Water must be pumped into the canal from the nearby Delaware River at Centre Bridge in order to maintain an adequate level downriver in New Hope.

In fact, the most costly aspect of the whole operation isn’t the equipment, but the power. It costs $1,200-$1,500 per month in electricity to keep the pump operating, and that money comes entirely from the local group New Hope for Our Canal (click to donate).




About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • Maintaining water in the canal in the borough is a lost cause. The banks and floor of the canal leak. The canal is basically a place for storm water runoff. Might be better if it was turned into a boardwalk.

  • Maybe fixing the canal past Centre Bridge would lighten the load for the pumps. Point Pleasant hasn’t had water in the canal for over 10 years. New Jersey seems to have a very consistent water flow and nicely maintained tow paths. The PA side is a disgrace.

    • Kevin, The NJ canal is a source of drinking water. How that translates to well maintained paths is from that situation. The PA side is a “recreation” tow path. Very different. PA doesn’t have the money to maintain the park/towpath. NJ also has a higher tax rate. Ya get what you pay for…

  • It would be interesting to read a follow up on this article discussing alternative energy sources for the pumps and the cost of putting that I’m place. Think more small community media could go a long way in helping their communities understand that we are getting closer to being able to take small steps in this direction that will have larger payoffs in the future.

  • Ah the smell of rotting fish and mucky canal bottom is so pleasant to those of us that use the towpath beyond the boro border. How coincidental that the pump seems to breakdown at the end of the tourist season for a second (maybe third) year in a row.

      • Sandra and Mike, Nothing nefarious with that situation. NH needs the tourist dollar. If having water in the canal makes their visit pleasant then the money is designated for those months. Tourism isn’t evil. Locals thinking that they deserve water in the canal is rather immature…the money has to come from some where to keep up the illusion of an historical man made canal that no longer serves its original function…but creates a fantasy world to show off in postcards.

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