To: All Bulk Water Customers and Served Municipalities
From: Robert C. Bender, Executive Director - NWWA
Date: November 2, 2016
Re: Additional PFC Testing – Forest Park.
The North Wales Water Authority is pleased to announce that on October 5, 2016, we again completed independent sampling and laboratory testing of our water supply, including source water, filtering and processing, and finished water from the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant, and that we have again received all non-detect results in all areas.
In summary, the testing results were as follows:
- On October 5, 2016, there were nine (9) independent samples taken at various points with the Forest Park Water Treatment process, for comprehensive laboratory (PFC) analysis.
- All samples were forwarded to Eurofins Lab, which conducted the actual testing and reporting that all nine (9) samples as being non-detect (<2 ppt) for all six (6) PFC’s tested, including both PFOA and PFOS.
- The sampling locations included:
- The “outfall”, which is located at the discharge point of Delaware River water flowing from the Bradshaw Reservoir into the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek in Plumstead Township. Testing Result – Non Detect
- Raw/Source Supply – Entering the plant from the North Branch Neshaminy Creek at the Forest Park Plant intake structure – Chalfont. Testing Result – Non Detect
- Six (6) locations throughout the Forest Park Plant water filtration process. Testing Result – Non Detect
- Finished water at exit point of Forest Park – Prior to delivery to system. Testing Result – Non Detect
In addition to providing this notice, we will soon be posting copies of the test results on our website. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about our water quality, please do not hesitate to contact us at 215-6994836, or visit our website at www.nwwater.com
Robert C. Bender
North Wales Water Authority
To: All NWWA Bulk Customers
From: Robert C. Bender, NWWA Executive Director
Date: October 26, 2016
Re: TESTING AT FOREST PARK WATER TREATMENT PLANT
This memorandum is being forwarded in keeping with our policy of periodically updating our customers about our water – especially as it relates to PFC contamination concerns.
As previously reported, the finished water at the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant (FPWTP) has been tested pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule in both 2014 and 2015. The laboratory results indicated that PFC’s were not detected.
Due to the continued reports of PFC groundwater (well) contamination in the region, and even though our water at Forest Park is from an entirely different (surface) water source, and not from the contaminated underground aquifer - the water being delivered from Forest Park was again tested by the NWWA in 2016 under the more stringent detection limits recently adopted by the laboratories. Laboratory results from these additional tests also confirmed that PFC’s were not detected.
Although PFC’s currently remain an unregulated contaminant by both EPA and the PADEP - in consideration of continued public concerns, we have recently instituted an additional “belt and suspenders” approach, including more frequent testing of both the raw water and the finished water at FPWTP on a continuing basis.
It is important to note that Forest Park has used activated carbon filtration for many years – essentially the same process that is now being considered for treatment at many contaminated wells. The above referenced filtration process, including membrane filtration, activated carbon beds, ozone treatment, and other important processes, continues to provide our customers with “state of the art” filtration assurance.
In the unlikely event that we ever experience a problem with the water being delivered to your system, we will immediately notify you. Meanwhile, please rest assured that we will always be testing and doing what is needed to provide the best water quality available.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at 215-699-4836, or to visit our website at www.nwwater.com for more detailed information on our water quality.
North Wales Water Authority
Robert C. Bender
Well 40 progress 10.28.16
Well 26 filter building wall installation 10.28.16
Horsham Township Announces Plan for Water Quality Improvements
Horsham Township Council and the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority (HWSA) announced today they have finalized a short term remediation plan to address the levels of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) found in Horsham’s water supply as a result of U.S. Department of Defense activities on the Naval Air Base in Willow Grove.
All water provided by HWSA currently meets or exceeds all DEP and EPA drinking water quality standards. In fact, HWSA’S most recent testing verifies that all nine of the HWSA’s active wells show PFC levels significantly below the new EPA Lifetime Health Advisory of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). However, in an effort to proactively address the presence of PFC’s in the public water supply, Township Council elected to implement an aggressive remediation plan intended to bring average PFC concentration levels in the Township’s water system to less than one ppt by the end of 2016.
The newly adopted water quality standard mandated by Council far exceeds any known published standard in the nation. Under the approved plan, Horsham will suspend the purchase of water from Aqua Pennsylvania, which currently supplies 400,000 gallons per day to the Township. Instead, the Township will increase the total gallons of water it purchases from North Wales to 1.2 million gallons per day. In addition, the HWSA, with the support of the Township, will install custom filters on five of its wells. The filters will address PFC levels in the wells, which are currently inactive, allowing them to be put back into service. A sixth well, which has PFC levels of five ppt, will continue to contribute to Horsham’s total water supply. The U.S. Navy has committed to paying for the temporary and the permanent filters on the five wells that exceed the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory level.
The plan was agreed upon by Council at its June 27 meeting. At that meeting, Council reviewed multiple remediation options, and selected the most aggressive of the options that were presented. The additional cost for this remediation option is estimated to be between $2,750 and $3,300 per day. Horsham Township Council will seek reimbursement for this expense from the Department of Defense, and has committed to having the plan fully in place by December 31, 2016. More information on water quality concerns can be found at horshamwater-sewer.com and on Horsham Township’s website, horsham.org. The Powerpoint presentation from the June 27th meeting is available on the Township’s website.
HORSHAM WATER & SEWER AUTHORITY REDUCES REFERENCE LEVEL FOR PFOA
The health and safety of the residents and businesses served by the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority (Authority) continues to be the highest priority of both the Authority and the Horsham Township Council. Since shutting down two of its public supply wells in July 2014 due to the discovery of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) at levels exceeding the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provisional health advisory level, the Authority has continued monitoring levels of PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in its remaining active public supply wells. EPA’s current provisional health advisory levels for PFOS and PFOA are 0.2 and 0.4 ppb (parts per billion), respectively and EPA reports that it expects to release a lifetime advisory level sometime this spring.
The Authority has been monitoring similar findings of PFOS and PFOA around the nation, and makes use of this information in its continuing commitment to protect the health and safety of its residents and businesses. On January 28, 2016, EPA Region 2 released a statement to the residents in the area of Hoosick, New York recommending discontinuing use of private wells with PFOA levels greater than 0.1 ppb for drinking or cooking purposes. Since obtaining that information, and to be as protective as possible of our own community, the Authority immediately began evaluating results of ongoing PFOA sampling of its active public supply wells against this reduced recommendation level. Both prior to and since the issuance of the EPA Region 2 recommendation, which is lower than the current EPA provisional health advisory level, PFOA concentrations in all active public supply wells in Horsham have consistently remained significantly below both the EPA provisional health advisory level and the reduced Region 2 recommendation level. With the support and cooperation of the Township Council, the Authority is voluntarily adopting 0.1 ppb as its own PFOA reference level, effective immediately. In the meantime, the Authority continues to communicate regularly with EPA about the release of a final advisory level. Recently, Horsham Township Council has written to EPA demanding that it establish a final and uniform regulatory standard so that safe drinking water can continue to be provided to its citizens.
HWSA will continue to proactively monitor its wells and will take immediate action to discontinue the use of any public supply well for which future sampling reveals a PFOA concentration level at or above 0.1 ppb. “Given the emerging nature of PFC contaminants, future action levels may change, and we will respond accordingly, however this interim action is yet another measure that the Authority is taking in order to minimize risks to public health” says Jack Butler, Horsham Water & Sewer Authority Chairman.
Deborah Tustin, Horsham Township Council President, on behalf of Horsham Township Council offered their continued support stating, “Protecting the health and safety of our residents and businesses is the highest priority and taking this step will help to minimize health risks to our current and future residents”.
Horsham Township residents and businesses are encouraged to stay informed on these issues by:
- Checking the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority website (www.horshamwater-sewer.com) for the latest information
- Checking the Horsham Township website (www.horsham.org) for the latest information
- Become better informed by reviewing environmental information relating to PFCs, the NAS-JRB Willow Grove, and the Horsham Air Guard Station. The Navy and Air National Guard maintain website administrative records and environmental documents http://www.horshamlibrary.org/pview.aspx?id=20628&catid=0. Paper copies of these reports are available at the Horsham Township Library.
- Sign up for Horsham Township and Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority news alerts (www.horsham.org and www.hlra.org)
- Attend the upcoming PFC public meeting/open house (May 24-25, 2016) at the Horsham Township Community Center.
Horsham public water supply quality assurance update
Happy New Year! As part of the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority’s (HWSA) continued commitment to ensure the health and safety of the Horsham residents, we bring you this update to briefly summarize activities that occurred during 2015 related to the discovery of Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) in the local groundwater supply.
- Continued to supply water to HWSA customers which meets established drinking water standards, and worked closely with local, state and federal agencies in responding to the PFC situation.
- Participated in a second, two day open house public meeting together with representatives of the Navy, Air National Guard, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), Montgomery County Health Department, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
- Attended and participated in all 2015 Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Restoration Advisory Board public meetings to publicly share and discuss information regarding water quality issues.
- Entered into an $8.8 million Cooperative Agreement with the Navy to extend the public water system and connect homes with private wells affected by PFCs, design and install treatment for the removal of PFCs from HWSA wells, purchase supplemental water to offset lost production, and continue monitoring of other HWSA wells.
- Entered into a $250,000 Cooperative Agreement with the National Guard Bureau to provide public water to properties immediately adjacent to the Horsham Air Guard Station.
- Connected five homes with private wells exceeding the EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory (PHA) level for PFCs to existing public water supply mains; additional house connections are underway as we begin 2016.
- Performed numerous additional field surveys of homes with private wells, for potential future connection to public water.
- Performed field surveys and preliminary design for water main extensions to serve properties with private wells affected by PFCs, where public water is not currently available.
- Prepared and submitted necessary permit applications to regulatory agencies for planned water main extensions.
- Continued monthly monitoring of three HWSA wells where PFCs were detected below the PHA level under the third round of the EPA-mandated testing.
- Performed the first annual PFC monitoring of all HWSA wells, regardless of prior testing results; this testing was performed using a method even more sensitive than the EPA protocol, and confirmed that all active Authority wells remain significantly below EPA’s PHA level. (Detailed results are available on the HWSA website at horshamwater-sewer.com, or by calling the Authority office at 215-672-8011.)
- Participated in a pre-application meeting with Pennsylvania DEP and began design of the PFC treatment systems for HWSA wells 26 and 40.
- Conducted pilot testing for the treatment systems, which successfully removed Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), the primary PFCs of concern, to undetectable levels.
Please be assured that the Authority and Horsham Township Council will remain vigilant in protecting your water and the health of the families of the Horsham community, as well as those who work in the Township. Continued proactive monitoring of the public water supply for PFCs will allow the Authority to quickly respond if levels show signs of approaching those that might present a health concern.
Again in 2016, there will be an open house meeting at which representatives from all related agencies will be present to share any new information that may become available and to answer any questions you may have. The date and time of the next meeting has not yet been established but will be advertised in local media. In the meantime, please refer to the Authority (horshamwater-sewer.com) and Horsham Township (horsham.org) websites for additional links and continued updates.
Public Notice of RAB (Willow Grove Air Station Restoration Advisory Board) Meeting - December 9. 2015
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Base Realignment and Closure Office (NAVFAC BRAC PMO) and the Air National Guard (ANG), announce a scheduled meeting of the Willow Grove Air Station Restoration Advisory Board (RAB). The purpose of the meeting is to discuss comments or concerns that the community and RAB members may have regarding environmental issues at the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) Willow Grove and the Horsham Air Guard Station (HAGS)/former Air Force Reserve Station (ARS), Willow Grove.
NAVFAC BRAC PMO will first provide updates of restoration activities at Navy environmental sites, the Radiological Assessment, and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in Horsham Township drinking water. The ANG will then provide an update of HAGS environmental remediation activities and PFCs in Warrington, Warminster and portions of Horsham Townships. Navy and Air National Guard support staff, regulatory agency, and health representatives will be available to answer questions.
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Horsham Township Library; 435 Babylon Road Horsham, Pennsylvania 19044; (215) 443-2609
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have any questions, or wish to discuss any project, please contact the following:
Mr. Willington Lin, BRAC Environmental Coordinator
4911 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19112
Air National Guard:
Mr. Keith Freihofer, Environmental Restoration Program Manager
3501 Fetchet Ave
Shepperd Hall, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762-5157
RAB meeting minutes are available at the Horsham Township Library or at the NAVFAC BRAC PMO website
The health and safety of the Horsham residents is the highest priority of the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority (HWSA), Horsham Township Council, and the United States Navy. All of the wells in use by the HWSA provide safe drinking water for you and your family.
HWSA tests wells regularly and diligently to ensure Horsham residents are drinking water that is clean, safe, and meets all regulatory standards and health advisory levels.
HWSA uses extensive monitoring to ensure the quality of its water. Independent, state-certified laboratories are used to test the HWSA water. These accredited laboratories have conducted extensive testing of the water in Horsham Township. As a result of this testing, we can confidently assure you that your drinking water is safe.
In the rare event that a contaminant is identified by EPA for potential new regulation, as was the case in 2014 with PFCs, Horsham Township and HWSA took immediate action to protect the health of the residents by:
• Shutting down two wells affected by PFCs
• Issuing a public notice to our customers
• Generating telephone calls to township residents
• Holding public meetings to provide the opportunity for Horsham Township residents to ask questions of the HWSA, Horsham Township, Navy, EPA, DEP, CDC, Montgomery County Health Department, and HLRA
• Providing frequent website updates
Rest assured that HWSA monitors your water supply on a regular basis. We work hand in hand with Horsham Township, EPA, and DEP who share our goal of protecting human health and the environment.
In addition to those actions taken by HWSA, for the last year and a half, the Navy, in cooperation with EPA, has been reaching out to private well owners throughout the township offering sampling of their wells for PFCs. Those homes that had a detection above safe limits are being provided with bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. HWSA has entered into an agreement with the Navy to promptly connect these properties to the public water supply.
The public water supply is safe to drink and consistently meets all standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Regarding Treatment Solicitation 8.22.14
The Horsham Water & Sewer Authority (the Authority) has been made aware that certain individuals or companies might try to convince our customers that there is a need for them to purchase water filtering or treatment systems for their homes and businesses. We are asking that our customers be on the lookout for a “water update” postcard that may come in the mail. Please know that the Authority has not sent any such postcard encouraging customers to take any special action regarding their water quality. Please be cautious when dealing with any company that you suspect might employ questionable sales tactics.
You should have received a recent public notice sent by the Authority concerning the presence of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), which was found in two wells that have since been taken out of service.
With respect to PFOS specifically, you should know that they cannot be removed by watersoftening product(s).
If you have any questions about PFOS or your water quality, please contact the Authority weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 215-672-8011.
Horsham Water and Sewer Authority Takes 2 Wells Out of Service Due to Detection of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) Above Provisional Health Advisory Level Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority (The Authority) monitors the quality of water from each of the groundwater wells used to provide your water. We sample as required for substances for which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have set primary drinking water standards. As we recently reported to you in our annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), all of the Authority’s in-service wells produce water into the system that meets the primary drinking water standards.
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