PITTSBURGH, PA, June 25, 2010 -- Pennsylvania American Water officials, along with acting Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Austin J. Burke and state and local officials, participated today in a groundbreaking event to kick off the company's approximately $101 million improvement project for its Pittsburgh area water system. The company is upgrading its Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant, Becks Run Pumping Station, E.H. Aldrich Water Treatment Complex and Arlington Booster Station, which supply drinking water to approximately 500,000 people.
"This investment represents one of the largest in the company's history," said Kathy L Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water. "The improvements will enable our drinking water facilities to meet new regulatory standards, improve our treatment process, and provide an economic boost to the region."
Pennsylvania American Water is making this investment to ensure that its drinking water continues to comply with all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards. The system upgrades will enable the company to meet new, more stringent requirements and improve its water treatment process.
"The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with Pennsylvania American Water in this important investment," said PA Department of Economic and Community Development acting Secretary Austin Burke. "Pennsylvania's aging water-related infrastructure creates a difficult and costly challenge for communities needing vital upgrades to their drinking water facilities. Investing now in upgrades will help to protect the health and safety of our people, our communities and our economy by ensuring a safe and adequate supply of water. The improvements will pay dividends for years to come."
Pape said the investment is being partially funded through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority's (PEDFA) tax-exempt program. "By taking advantage of PEDFA funding, we were able to reduce our cost of capital for these important infrastructure upgrades," Pape said.
Pennsylvania American Water hired Kokosing Construction Company Inc. of Westerville, Ohio. Kokosing was chosen using a competitive bid process, which included local and national bidders. Greater Pittsburgh Area contractors will comprise 80 percent of the workforce, with local suppliers also provided opportunities to participate in these projects.
The following upgrades and new facilities are expected to be in service by November 2011:
-- Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant & Becks Run Pumping Station - Built in 1894 when Pennsylvania American Water was known as the South Pittsburgh Water Company, the Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station are capable of delivering 60 million gallons of water per day to communities in southern Allegheny and northern Washington Counties. The Becks Run intake was constructed in 1905, delivering river water approximately two miles up Becks Run Road to the Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant.
Pennsylvania American Water's upgrades will replace infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life. The construction includes:
-- New Monongahela River intake structure
-- New raw water pump station
-- Installation of 3,000 feet of new 42-inch water main
-- New finished water storage and pump station structure
-- New chemical feed facilities
-- E.H. Aldrich Treatment Complex & Arlington Booster Station - Constructed in 1960, the E.H. Aldrich Treatment Complex is located in Elrama, with the capacity to deliver 50 million gallons of water per day to communities in southern Allegheny and northern Washington Counties. Located in the Arlington section of the City of Pittsburgh, the Arlington Booster Station helps pump water to key service areas. In addition, the booster station ensures fire protection when the Hays Mine Plant is unavailable during maintenance and times of emergency.
Both facilities will receive new chemical storage and feed facilities.
The upgrades will also improve public safety at the company's Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant, Becks Run Pumping Station, Arlington Booster Station and E.H. Aldrich Treatment Complex. The company is replacing gas chlorine with on-site liquid chlorine generation, which will address concerns associated with chlorine gas storage.
General project construction work hours are from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Some critical construction activities might require after hours work. Kokosing Construction Company has established a customer service number, 1-877-856-3030, for project inquiries. You can also access project information by visiting www.pennsylvaniaamwater.com and click link on homepage, or go to Facebook and search for keyword "Pennsylvania American Water."
Pennsylvania American Water, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:AWK) , is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.