Read the full article by Chris Ullery

“Warrington supervisors unanimously approved a $5.3 million PennVest loan funding filter installations on four public drinking water wells contaminated with perfluorinated compounds.

Effectively a drawdown loan, the township’s water and sewer department will install ion exchange and granular activated carbon filtration systems at the public wells currently testing under a 70 parts per trillion health advisory level for PFAS contamination set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016.

The township is currently purchasing all of its drinking water, approximately 1.7 million gallons per day, from North Wales Water Authority, which provides water with no detectable levels of PFAS.

Warrington, Warminster and Horsham have been dealing with drinking water contamination linked to the use of firefighting foams by the U.S. military at nearby former and active bases.

The federal government has agreed to pay for water remediation efforts where PFAS levels in those communities are over the health advisory level, but remediation work at wells under those levels are left to the towns to pay for.

While the township will have to foot the bill for these filtration systems for the foreseeable future, township Director of Water and Sewer Christian Jones also received approval from supervisors Tuesday to apply for a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant that could fund about half the total PennVest loan…

Jones said the township is applying for the total $5.13 million dollars, but said during his presentation that the awarded amount would likely be closer to $3 million.

In what Jones called the ‘best case scenario,’ the township could ultimately only use about $2.3 million of the PennVest low-interest loan.

There is a cost increase associated with the filtration project, estimated at $34 a year for the average customer, but Joans added that not installing the filters would also mean a loss of the decades-long investment in the township’s well water system.

While the township is only two years into a 10-year purchase agreement with North Wales, adding the filtration systems could allow the township to reduce its daily water needs in the future.”