Pennsylvania water testing lab breaks ground
A new water quality lab in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania has broken ground.
The lab is part of Aqua Pennsylvania's effort to protect the public health and ensure high quality water. Aqua Pennsylvania representatives, along with Essential Utilities Inc., Department of Environmental Protection, state and regional elected officials, and contractors broke ground on the site.
The new two-story building, at 14,700 square feet, will more than double the size of the current 6,400 square foot laboratory, which has served the company for more than 60 years, reported Patch.
The new lab is expected to be completed and in operation by the spring of 2021.
The expansion comes as Aqua continues to add more customers and systems through acquisition. Aqua's current laboratory is one of two laboratories accredited and the only utility certified to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination in Pennsylvania, according to Patch. PFAS testing capability was added in 2016 in response to the emerging concerns and in 2019 Aqua committed to testing every one of its nearly 1,500 water sources for PFAS contamination.
Beginning in 2020, Essential will make capital investment over several years to install mitigation technology at water treatment facilities where source water exceeds 13 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, PFOS and PFAS.
“Since the EPA’s health advisory was released in 2016, we have taken proactive measures to ensure that the water we provide outperforms guidance for the contaminant," said Chief Environmental Officer Christopher Crockett. “While we applaud the EPA’s efforts to address PFOA and PFOS at the national level, enforceable federal standards for these contaminants appear to be more than a year away from being introduced, and any guidance around PFNA could have an even longer timetable. As we await these guidelines from the EPA, Essential is proud to lead the industry in setting a company-wide standard that meets the science-based levels being established in New Jersey.”
Currently, the EPA's PFAS non-enforceable health advisory level is 70 ppt.