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Aqua Pennsylvania Emlenton Water Treatment Plant Joins Partnership for Safe Drinking Water.

BRYN MAWR, Pa. -- Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Aqua) announced today that its Emlenton water treatment plant has joined the Partnership for Safe Water--a voluntary cooperative effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association and other drinking water organizations, representing more than 200 surface water utilities throughout the United States.

Emlenton's participation in the partnership represents a true 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 eight months--an order that was instituted April 29, 2008 during previous ownership of the system. 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 has invested $2.8 million for construction of a new 288,000-gallon per day water treatment plant; $925,000 to replace 11,400 feet 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 (COA)--which it inherited when it purchased the system--17 months before the final completion date 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.

"We are very pleased to have our Emlenton plant be part of the Partnership for Safe Water," said Aqua President Karl Kyriss. "Because of all of the hard work and extensive investment we completed at this plant, we expect to soon see this plant performing at the highest standards established by the Partnership."

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 achieved the Partnership's "Phase III Directors Award of Recognition." The Directors Award is presented for successfully completing the Self-Assessment and Peer Review phase of program, which consists of identifying factors that limit treatment plant performance.

Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis said, "I want to personally thank Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner Jim Cawley and Department of Environmental Protection Regional Director Kelly Birch for their guidance and support during the construction process. I also want to offer special thanks to Pennsylvania Senator and Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Mary Jo White (R-Venango County) and Pennsylvania Representative and Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Scott Hutchinson (R- Venango County). Without the effort of these legislators to obtain PENNVEST funds, the successful turnaround of the Emlenton water system would not have been possible."

"We've invested tens of millions of dollars in our treatment facilities and consistently strive to outperform regulatory standards," said Kyriss. "We soon expect to see other Aqua treatment plants achieve the Phase III award, which was received by our Roaring Creek plant, and that they will then target Phase IV."

The Emlenton water system serves approximately 1,200 people in portions of Emlenton Borough and Richland Township, Venango County in western Pennsylvania. Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.4 million people in 30 counties throughout Pennsylvania.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Jul 25, 2011
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