Facility recently made improvements to lift eight-month boil alert
Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. announced that its Emlenton water treatment plant has joined the Partnership for Safe Water, a voluntary cooperative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Water Works Assn. and other drinking water organizations representing more than 200 surface water utilities throughout the U.S.
According to Aqua, Emlenton's participation in the partnership represents a 180-degree turn for the facility, which was purchased by Aqua in December 2008. At the time, the plant had been under a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) boil order for eight months. Within less than a month of its purchase, Aqua had made the repairs necessary to have the boil order lifted.
Aqua's improvements continued, and since that time it has invested $2.8 million for construction of a new 288,000-gal-per-day water treatment plant; $925,000 to replace 11,400 ft of old water main; and $392,000 of improvements to the existing finished water reservoir, including the installation of a dome roof.
These improvements led to Aqua satisfying the requirements of the DEP consent order agreement, which it inherited when it purchased the system, 17 months before the final completion deadline of July 1, 2012. Other state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), worked cooperatively with Aqua to improve Emlenton's water quality. It was the result of an emergency order from the PUC on November 21, 2008, under which Aqua became the certified operator for Emlenton with full operational control of Emlenton's water supply treatment plant and distribution system.
The addition of the Emlenton Water Treatment Plant to the partnership completes the list of Aqua's 11 surface water treatment plants that now participate in the Partnership for Safe Water. The company completed enrollment of its 10 plants in November 2008. Since then, its Roaring Creek treatment plant in Shamokin, Pa., achieved the partnership's Phase III Directors Award of Recognition. This award is presented for successfully completing the self-assessment and peer review phase of the program, which consists of identifying factors that limit treatment plant performance.
The Emlenton water system serves approximately 1,200 people in portions of Emlenton Borough and Richland Township in Venango County in western Pennsylvania.