Tests reveal Pennsylvania-American ready for proposed federal standards for arsenic

Test results on finished water samples and distribution system samples show that Pennsylvania-American Water Company meets both current and proposed federal standards for arsenic.

HERSHEY, Pa., Aug. 13, 2001 — Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in the Bush Administration began an investigation of the current federal standard for arsenic (50 ppb/parts per billion) to determine if it should be lowered to 10 ppb.

The investigation has been met with mixed reactions nationwide.

"Since the issue of arsenic has made the news in recent months, we have received several inquiries from our customers wanting to know how it affects their water supply," said Paul Zielinski, director of water quality for Pennsylvania-American Water Company. "I'm pleased to report that not only does Pennsylvania-American meet current federal standards for arsenic, we would also meet the proposed standards, if they were in effect today."

Test results on finished water samples and distribution system samples show that the Company meets both current and proposed federal standards for arsenic.

Arsenic most commonly results from a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in the ground. The presence of arsenic in drinking water is more prevalent in portions of the U.S. where arsenic deposits occur. Overexposure to arsenic has been linked to various types of cancer and other non-carcinogenic diseases.

"Pennsylvania-American Water Company is committed to providing its customers with water that meets or surpasses federal and state drinking water standards," said Zielinski. "Pennsylvania-American tests for inorganics, such as arsenic, twice a year. The current standard requires testing only once every nine years."

These efforts, said Zielinski, don't go unnoticed. "Pennsylvania- American's dedication to providing the highest quality water has earned the company a Certificate of Commendation from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This award recognizes water companies whose quality consistently meets or surpasses standards for drinking water. Customers can feel confident in knowing that their drinking water is better than what's required."

Pennsylvania-American Water Company, a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, is the largest regulated water company in the United States. The company owns and operates 35 surface water filtration plants and two wastewater treatment facilities. Nearly 8,000 miles of water transmission and distribution lines deliver high quality water to more than two million Pennsylvanians.

American Water Works Company, located in Voorhees, NJ, is the largest investor-owned, U.S.-based water service enterprise. The company's utility subsidiaries and affiliates now serve over 10 million people in 1,000 communities in 23 states from New York to Hawaii.

— For more information about Pennsylvania-American Water Company's water quality, visit www.pawc.com and select the Consumer Confidence Report for the area in which you live.

— For more information about the US EPA's consideration of the arsenic in drinking water rule — or the health effects of arsenic — visit www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html

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