Update on NWWA Public Water Well Rehabilitation Program
Dear Water Customers, Township Officials, and Warrington residents,
We are writing at this time in an effort to keep you apprised of our ongoing efforts to add and upgrade filtration systems on several public water supply wells located within the township.As you may recall, prior to North Wales Water Authority (NWWA) assuming ownership of the former Warrington Twp water system in 2019, several township owned water wells were identified as having various levels of PFAS related contamination – allegedly stemming from the use of firefighting foam at the former WGNAS facility, near Route 611 and County Line Road.
Prior to our ownership of the system, the township successfully negotiated a settlement with the Bureau of the Air National Guard, (ANG) calling for ANG reimbursement of certain costs associated with the construction of additions and PFAS filtration equipment at various well stations within the township. We assumed responsibility for that contract and have undertaken the agreed upon construction since.
Well sites with construction and filter installations underway are as follows:
- Wells 1, 2, and 6 all located at Costner Drive
- Well #3 located at Valley Road Well
- #5 located at Foal Circle and Dapple Drive Well
- #8 located at Greensward North Well
- #9 located in the parking lot area of Home Depot on Rt 611 Well
- #11 located at Kelly Road
Once reactivated, these wells will be used as an alternate water supply on an as needed basis, helping us meet critical needs during periods of high flows, droughts, major fire calls, and emergencies such as main breaks, or as otherwise needed to supplement our Forest Park water supplies.
This process has not been easy or inexpensive, and we have invested over Seven Million ($7,000,000.00) Dollars to improve these wells to date, with additional expenses anticipated later this year. It is important to recognize that the well contamination did not occur due to any failure on the part of the former ownership by the township, or since by the NWWA. The problem was reportedly caused by contamination from the military base.
We have worked in close cooperation with the ANG and various township officials to complete the agreed upon improvements and to implement the corrective action plan. We hope to have all work completed in 2023. We have and will continue to seek grant funding to mitigate any economic impact upon our water customers.
Thanks to everyone involved in these critical improvements and for the cooperation and patience of all involved as we have worked through a multitude of Federal, State, and local regulations and funding guidelines.
Additional information about the NWWA and water quality can be found at www.nwwwater.com or by calling our Main Office at 215-699-4836 or our Bucks County office at 267-482-6940.
Click here to read the entire update.
New Limits on PFAS/PFOA in Public Water Supplies
Dear NWWA Customers,
You may have become aware of recent media reports about newly enacted water quality limits to be enforced by the PaDEP beginning in January 2024. These new limits further reduce the amount of PFOS and PFOA compounds in all public water supplies. The newly enacted limits for PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) are 14 parts per trillion and PFOA
(perfluorooctanoic acid) at 18 parts per trillion. For perspective, we note that many water quality experts have referred to “one part per trillion” as similar to a single drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!
The purpose of this memo is to provide you with accurate information on how the new state regulations will impact the NWWA and your water supplies.
First, please be assured that the NWWA is not now, nor have we ever violated state or federal standards regulating PFAS, PFOA, or any associated contaminants in the water we supply. In fact, we are known as an industry and regional leader in providing safe and clean water to the customers we directly serve and the many municipalities and authorities that are NWWA wholesale customers.
We regularly post water testing results on our website (FAQ/Water Quality Section), including all PFOS and PFOA testing results sampled from our Forest Park Water Treatment Plant. About 97% of the water we provide comes from the Forest Park Plant. These results always meet and exceed water quality standards by a wide margin. The remaining 3% of the water comes from backup wells located throughout our primary system and from independent wells within the satellite systems we operate.
Customers receiving water from these wells are also protected. In a manner similar to Forest Park, the water from backup and satellite wells is also tested to ensure that the
water from wells also meets all state and federal regulations.
So there is no confusion, please note that the NWWA purchased the Warrington water system in 2019. That system had several wells with PFAS/PFOA contamination. Warrington Township shut down those wells before our ownership. (Warrington was then purchasing water from the NWWA). The contaminated wells have remained closed and have never been operated while under the ownership of the NWWA.
We are now installing state-of-the-art PFOS/PFOA filtration systems to remedy the problem at those well sites. An additional advanced filtration system will follow this to remove dissolved solids (minerals) to comply with state standards and to further enhance the water quality.
These wells will not be placed back into service until the filter installations are completed, and the wells have been third-party tested to confirm compliance with all water quality standards.
Equally important, we will insist that the wells meet our high-quality standards – which often exceed state and federal regulations.
All other wells in our system are receiving similar scrutiny. Although we do not have any wells operating in violation of water quality standards, in an abundance of caution, and to avoid any future issues, we plan to install advanced filtration systems on those wells over the next few years.
The bottom line is that the water provided by the NWWA is always safe and clean and meets or exceeds all applicable water quality standards.
We are a water industry leader and fully intend to remain as such.
Please take a few moments to review our Forest Park Video by following the link on our website. Also, please do not hesitate to call our water quality staff at either of our business offices if you have any questions.
Thank you for your time and interest in our operations.
Click here to learn how NWWA is responding to Pennsylvania’s newly enacted water quality limits.
PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is studying the human health effects in communities exposed to per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through drinking water.
ATSDR is funding researchers from seven different sites across the United States to see how PFAS impacts health. The Pennsylvania site includes 11 townships near the military bases in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.
The study team is seeking participants, especially children aged 4-17 (with parent/guardian permission). Click here for more information about screening for children ages 4-preteen and click here for information for teenagers up to age 17.
For more information on the study, please visit the PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study website.
2021 Water Quality Report
The 2021 Water Quality Report is now available. Click here to download it.
System Improvement Updates
We are pleased to provide you with this update as we improve your water system and service.
As you are likely aware, in addition to reducing your water rates by about 50% in 2019, followed
by issuing a substantial financial credit to all customer accounts in 2020 – we are not finished!
Since acquiring the system, the NWWA has initiated many system improvements, including the installation of several hundred new water meters and MXU units needed to assure accurate water meter readings. We have also flushed the water system several times to improve water quality, and we are constantly checking system street valves and hydrants to improve fire safety throughout the community.
Additionally, we are working hard to implement the long-needed filtering system on the former township wells to eliminate any issues with the PFAS contamination that plagued the system for several years before our ownership and operations.
Although we have sufficient water t o satisfy the typical daily needs of the community from our award-winning Forest Park Water Treatment Plant, we are making the additional investment in the local wells to protect our Warrington customers in the event of a prolonged drought requiring supplemental water, a major water main break, extensive fire requiring temporary emergency water, or other operating events.
To accommodate the filter systems, we will be constructing a brick or stone-faced enclosure building, roofing materials designed to suitably blend with the surrounding neighborhood, along with significant landscaping. An additional benefit of surrounding the filters with the building will be the mitigation if not total elimination of noise to our neighbors.
As always, the NWWA will work diligently with both our customers and the entire community to constantly Improve the water system and mitigate any operational impacts on our customers and our neighbors.
We are available to answer any questions and to discuss any issues of concern by calling our main office at 215-699-4836 or our Warrington office at 267-482-6940.
Water Account Credits and System Improvements
As you may be aware from various sources, the NWWA sought and has now received several significant grants to benefit the WA/Warrington water system. The improvements are required due to prior well water contamination, specifically designed as a permanent elimination of contamination in both public and private wells. Many of these improvements are already complete, with some work continuing at this time. We have also arranged for grant funding allowing us to issue a credit to the current water accounts of the NWWA/Warrington customers who paid water surcharges to the township prior to our acquisition of the
water system on October 1, 2019.
As some media reports have been confusing, we have provided accurate information on these items below.
- All municipal wells with water contamination issues have been shut down and will remain shut down until such time the contamination issues have been fully remedied, even if that takes years.
- The public water is absolutely safe to drink and is provided from our award winning Forest Park Water Treatment facility, located in Chalfont. Information about this plant is available on our website.
- If you still have a PFAS/PFOA contaminated private well and wish to learn more about how you may connect to public water at little or even NO COST, please call our Warrington Office at 267-482-6940 and ask to speak with either Mark Elser, or Larry Kremsky, who will explain our program
Water Account Credits:
- Prior to our acquisition and commencement of operations of the former Warrington Township water system, water rates were as high as $7.16 per thousand gallons, in part due to surcharges imposed by the township due to their additional costs in dealing with contamination issues. Immediately upon our assumption of operations on October 1, 2019, we eliminated all surcharges and reduced your water rates by about 50% – to only $3.60 per thousand gallons. That rate has remained in effect. We also commenced seeking grants to help mitigate the prior expenses. We were successful.
- Today the NW commenced the issuance of credits of $364.90 to each of 7,571 water accounts that were in place prior to our system acquisition and which remain active as of this date, with the credits totaling $2.762,657.90. This significant credit will not expire and will remain with the account until absorbed by your quarterly consumption. You can check your account balances online at any time, and will receive an account bill/statement each quarter. Should you move before the account credit is fully absorbed, you will be mailed a refund check for any account balance after your final account reconciliation. Please note that this credit is for water only and does not impact your BCWSA sewer bill.
- If you have any questions about either of these programs, you may contact our customer service representatives at 267-482-6940.
Learn About Your Water
We invite you to learn as much as you can about your drinking water. A great place to start is to watch this video about our water treatment facility, Forest Park Water, and its treatment processes.