"The success of treatment at these three wells and other progress fuels our continued diligence in monitoring water quality."
Sept. 23, 2019
Dear Aqua Pennsylvania Customer,
We are pleased to provide this update on the progress we have made to address PFAS in drinking water sources in Montgomery and Bucks counties.
Our Aidenn Lair well in Upper Dublin, Montgomery County was returned to service with granular activated carbon—GAC—treatment in May 2019. It now operates similarly to treatment systems at our Chalfont 8 and Hatboro 9 wells, which had GAC treatment installed in August and October 2017 respectively. The success of treatment at these three wells and other progress fuels our continued diligence in monitoring water quality, the results for which are shared on our WaterFacts.com website as well as in our Consumer Confidence Reports, which can be found at https://www.aquaamerica.com/our-states/pennsylvania.aspx
We began piloting treatment at our North Hills well in Abington Township, Montgomery County in February 2018, following approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The North Hills well remains out of service and the treated water is not entering our public drinking water supply. It will remain out of service until we complete the pilot. Construction of a permanent treatment system could possibly begin shortly after receiving the requisite PA DEP permits, with treatment units in service in late 2020.
Consistent with our plan to address PFAS in your area, we have begun design and permitting for several other wells including wells 6 and 8 in Hatboro Borough. We continue to feed powdered activated carbon at our Neshaminy water treatment plant, which is yielding PFAS-treated water quality results similar to those of our neighboring utilities.
As we consider financing future PFAS treatment projects, we have met with the Pennsylvania Investment Infrastructure Authority, also known as PENNVEST, which administers loan and grant funds for projects that meet specific criteria on behalf of the Commonwealth. We have not, at this time, pursued PENNVEST funds as we believe the guidelines for award makes our PFAS projects ineligible. However, given recent funds awarded by the state, we plan to inquire why Aqua customers would be treated differently than their neighbors in surrounding communities, and are hopeful that we will receive such grants on your behalf. Our grant discussions will include an opportunity to secure both construction and operating expenses and, if awarded, would reduce the impact to customers’ rates associated with these projects.
We continue to be active participants in the Governor’s Task Force and Aqua’s certified lab in Bryn Mawr analyzes water quality results that have raised questions about, and challenges to, water quality data from the military. Without Aqua’s data, our customers, as well as the broader community, would have been left with few resources to oppose claims from the military and its consultants. Our WaterFacts.com website continues to be the go-to source for many, as there is no other local utility that collects samples and reports results with the frequency that we do.
We appreciate your patience as we execute our plan. The deliberate progression of our PFAS strategy prudently balances new and changing information, regulation, and new technology, so that associated costs, which are ultimately paid by our customers, are appropriately managed as we address the situation.
We take seriously our mission to protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource. Thank you for being a customer and entrusting your water service to Aqua.
Marc A. Lucca