Two-year-old boil order lifted for Washington Park water customers within two months of new ownership

BRYN MAWR, PA, June 3, 2009 -- Aqua Pennsylvania announced that the boil order has been lifted for customers of the former W.P. Water Company Inc., commonly known as Washington Park...

BRYN MAWR, PA, June 3, 2009 -- Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. announced today that the boil order has been lifted for customers of the former W.P. Water Company Inc., commonly known as Washington Park. Aqua will deliver formal lift notices to customers this afternoon. The boil order, which was instituted under previous ownership, was ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in June 2007.

Prior to Aqua's purchase of the water system on March 31, 2009, the old well station along Debbie Drive did not provide sufficient contact time for disinfection. There were also frequent service interruptions and low pressure. These conditions prompted the DEP to require the previous owner to issue a boil water notice two years ago.

Within the first month of purchasing the W.P. Water Company, Aqua employees found and repaired four leaks that were likely major contributors to the persistent water outages that plagued the system. Since that time, Aqua has drilled and tested a new well, and constructed a temporary well station and tank which were put into service yesterday (June 2) allowing the boil order to be lifted. Aqua plans to begin construction on the permanent well station later this year.

"We are probably as happy as our customers to have been able to get them off of the boil order as quickly as we did," said Aqua Regional Manager Patrick Burke. "These customers have suffered a long time and we were anxious to be able to provide them some relief."

Other improvements Aqua has made in the two months it's owned the system include the replacement of the chemical feed pumps and electrical controls at the remaining well station (the temporary well station replaced one that was abandoned) and the installation of flushing valves throughout the distribution system. Aqua also started the installation of a state-of-the-art radio frequency metering system at customers' properties.

Burke said that while Aqua has already invested about $140,000 to date on these improvements, which in addition to eliminating the need to boil the water, have provided increased pressure and service reliability, there are more improvements to come. "By the end of year, we plan to have begun construction of a new water storage tank, which in conjunction with the new well station, will satisfy peak demand and significantly reduce the potential for service outages."

Aqua also expects to have under construction by year-end a new wastewater treatment plant to replace the existing deteriorating wastewater plant, which has operational problems that have been the subject of numerous DEP violations. The company has also made temporary improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, which has resulted in dramatic improvements in the quality of the plant discharge and the receiving stream.

Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.4 million residents in 30 counties throughout Pennsylvania with more than one million in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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