"We look forward to guidance from EPA and state regulators on addressing the recent Health Advisory Levels and the PFAS Maximum Contaminant Levels expected in the fall of 2022, and will comply with all regulations."
UPDATE: NBC10 Philadelphia visited one of Aqua Pennsylvania’s treatment facilities and spoke to Essential Utilities Chief Environmental, Safety, and Sustainability Officer Chris Crockett to learn the action the company is taking to address perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water. The March 15, 2022 update can be viewed here.
Dear Aqua Pennsylvania Customer:
At Aqua Pennsylvania, our mission is protecting and providing Earth’s most essential resource. When something threatens that mission, we take it very seriously and we want to assure our customers that we are taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and quality of their drinking water each and every day.
Over the past several years, the presence of two contaminants – Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), known as a part of the PFAS family of chemicals – in drinking water supplies has become a concern across the country and around the world.
Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s first Health Advisory Limit (HAL) of 70 parts per trillion (PPT) was announced in 2016, Aqua has taken several proactive measures to help minimize PFAS in our community. We are committed to full transparency and report monthly testing results and PFAS program updates to waterfacts.com.
Additionally, we have made significant investments to increase laboratory testing capacity; installed granular activated carbon and resin filters on four systems with the highest level of PFAS; conducted engineering evaluations of the Neshaminy water treatment plant and evaluated the effectiveness of the Horsham Air National Guard’s treatment system based on contaminant levels in the Neshaminy Creek; and assessed alternative treatment options, including ion exchange resins and other technologies.
We also are in receipt of a PENNVEST grant in the amount of $4.5 million for construction of a PFAS treatment facility at the North Hills well station in Abington Township, Montgomery County, which we expect to be in service by the end of 2022. That well was voluntarily removed from service in 2016 as part of our commitment.
In 2020, Essential Utilities, Inc. announced new commitments to environmental and community health by launching an industry-leading standard for its Aqua family of water utilities. The company-wide standard of 13 parts per trillion (PPT) for PFOA, PFNA, and PFOS, was significantly less than the 2016 HAL for PFOA and PFOS, and remains lower than the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency (PADEP)‘s proposed drinking water standards of 14 ppt for PFOA, and 18 ppt for PFOS. This treatment standard, which was based on the most stringent state guidance at the time, enabled us to address these contaminants uniformly across our nearly 1,500 water systems in our eight-states footprint.
We fully support the EPA and state agencies establishing legally regulated standards of treatment with Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs) for the safety of our customers. As HALs are not legally regulated standards of treatment, we will continue addressing PFAS in our communities based on our company-wide standard. We look forward to guidance from EPA and state regulators on addressing the recent HALs and the PFAS MCLs expected in the fall of 2022 and will comply with all regulations.
We look forward to continuing to update our partners and customers on our company-wide standard and mitigation action plan and will continue to update this website with information on our progress. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please contact us at 877.987.2782 or custservreply@AquaAmerica.com, or visit our Resources page or our Updates from Aqua page to access additional information.
Christopher Crockett, Ph.D., P.E.
Chief Environmental, Safety, and Sustainability Officer
Essential Utilities, Inc.