Pennsylvania American Water Announces Disaster Relief Support

The American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), a 501(c)(3) organization established by American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, and Pennsylvania American Water, today announced a $10,000 donation to the Scranton Area Community Foundation to support disaster relief to flood victims in Lackawanna County. Areas of the county were impacted by heavy rains and flooding in early September.

“Pennsylvania American Water, in collaboration with the American Water Charitable Foundation, is pleased to support the families and communities impacted by the devastating flooding that occurred,” said Justin Ladner, president of Pennsylvania American Water and a board member of the American Water Charitable Foundation. “We understand how critical clean, safe drinking water is in our daily lives and in times of emergencies. We hope this contribution can provide some assistance and relief to the residents of these affected communities who are still recovering from flood damage.”

“We are grateful for the support from Pennsylvania American Water,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO. “The Lackawanna County Flood Relief Fund will aim to meet the greatest array of needs of the organizations and communities disproportionately impacted by flood events in Lackawanna County.” 

The Foundation’s Disaster Relief Grant Program is designed to increase the impact of American Water employee donations made in response to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, fires and other extraordinary disaster events.

Pennsylvania American Water Announces Pipe Project in Scranton

Pennsylvania American Water today announced a $6 million project to provide redundant drinking water supply from its Lake Scranton Water Treatment Plant to the city of Scranton.  The project, which is slated to begin in mid-August, involves rehabilitating an existing water line that runs through the East Mountain area of Scranton.

As part of the project, company contractors will be lining and reinforcing an existing 48-inch transmission line with high-density polyethylene pipe.  The transmission line was originally installed through East Mountain in 1908 to serve the city.  It was taken out of service in 2018 after a new transmission line was installed through the mountain. 

“The original cast-iron pipe served us for well over 100 years,” said Rich Dudek, project manager, Pennsylvania American Water.  “The second line was installed to provide redundancy should any repairs be needed on the original pipe, and now we are making these improvements to extend the service life of the water main and add resiliency and redundancy to our Scranton water system.” 

The project is expected to start in mid-August and be completed in the spring of 2024.  Customers’ water service will not be impacted by this work.

In preparation for the project, part of the walking path around the Lake Scranton reservoir will temporarily close to pedestrian traffic beginning Monday, July 31 as contractors begin delivering material and equipment for the project.  The walking path will be closed from the area where the path meets the roadway at the small stone bridge to the dam near the fishing pier.

The walking path will be closed as a safety precaution due to increased truck traffic on the roadway until August 4.  The path will be reopen Saturday, August 5.

For more information, contact Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.

Pennsylvania American Water Promotes Water Saving Tips

Pennsylvania American Water is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote water conservation and help provide savings to customers.Small drips from faucets and often-overlooked toilet tank leaks can add up quickly. Helping homeowners fix the drips to save money and water is the goal of the annual “Fix a Leak Week,” running March 20-26. Fix a Leak Week is a national campaign that helps raise awareness about leaks and other water issues that contribute to water waste within homes.

“Customers might barely notice a small drip at their faucet, but at the rate of one drip per second, it can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year — enough for more than 180 showers,” said Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Jim Runzer. “Fortunately, most common leaks are easily detectable and correctable, which not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer, but also saves money on your monthly water and sewer bill.”

According to the EPA, the average residence in the U.S. loses 10,000 gallons of water per year from seemingly minor leaks. With more than 110 million households in the U.S., this equates to more than one trillion gallons of water lost every year due to leaks in the home. Moreover, it is estimated that the average homeowner can reduce his or her water bills by 10 percent simply by addressing leaks.

Runzer added, “As a water utility, we work every day to practice what we preach, which is why we invest millions in our pipes each year to reduce system leaks.”

Pennsylvania American Water is committed to fixing leaks in its underground network of pipes by constantly replacing and upgrading its infrastructure. Over the past five years, the company has funded more than $2 billion in system upgrades and plans to invest $450 to $600 million annually over the next several years to continue providing safe, clean, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater services to customers. 

To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, Pennsylvania American Water has helpful information including tips on finding and fixing common, and some not-so-common, indoor and outdoor water leaks along with downloadable leak detection kits, available in English and Spanish, through the company’s leak detection webpage.

Pennsylvania American Water also offers these starter tips for detecting leaks:

  • Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them.
  • Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.
  • For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
  • Tighten connections on your showerheads if drips appear when the shower is off.
  • Check your garden and lawn irrigation system for leaks.
  • Consider installing water and energy-efficient appliances. The EPA reports that certified Energy Star washing machines use up to 35 percent less water per load. Water-saving shower heads, toilets and faucet aerators also help cut your water usage.

Pennsylvania American Water Launches Water Service Line Material Inventory Project

Pennsylvania American Water wants to get rid of lead water lines – but to do so, will need your help. Today, the company announced it has reached the customer information-gathering phase of its statewide service line material inventory project and is asking customers to “pipe up” and tell the company what their water service lines are made of. Using this data, the company will publish a public-facing online map of service line material types and locations by October 2024, with the goal of ultimately removing identified lead and certain galvanized water lines from service.

This month, customers whose service line material is unknown to Pennsylvania American Water will be sent a postcard in the mail with information on how to participate in this important identification effort. Customers can respond on the website featured on the postcard or by calling the number provided, which goes directly to the company’s project management firm, Greeley and Hansen. As part of this survey, customers will be asked to answer a few questions about their water service line and upload a photo of their service line material, if possible.

“Determining what material every customer’s service line is made of – including the lines owned by them and not just by us – is a massive undertaking, and we’re asking our customers to take this request seriously and please respond so we can take action accordingly,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Justin Ladner. “Although our company is in compliance with lead action levels in water due to our effective treatment controls, we believe that identifying and ultimately removing lead lines from service is the right thing to do for the health, safety and peace of mind of our customers.”

What is a water service line?

A water service line is a pipe that connects a customer’s house or building to the water main in the street. Typically, the service line is less than 2 inches in diameter and is made of various material. The most common material in use is copper; however other materials have been used including galvanized steel, iron, plastic, and lead. Pennsylvania American Water owns a portion of the service line, typically from the main to the curb stop, found near the street curb or sidewalk. The property owner owns the rest of the service line, from the curb stop all the way into the house or building.

How is the service line material data being gathered?

The company’s service line inventory project contractor, Greeley and Hansen, will be available by phone to answer questions about the inventory and identification process and can help customers schedule an in-home inspection to verify their service line material type, if needed. In addition to customer surveys, the project includes reviewing existing records, predictive modeling, and conducting field investigations, which can include in-home inspections and digging test pits to look at service lines.

All contractors representing Pennsylvania American Water in the field will be wearing logoed, high-visibility vests and carrying official photo ID badges. The company urges customers to participate in this important information-gathering project, while also being vigilant to check for proper identification before allowing anyone self-identifying as a utility representative into their home.

Why is the company undertaking this project?

The project is driven by EPA regulations that require water utilities to identify and publicly map lead service lines, which, for many utilities, will be the first step toward a proactive lead service line replacement program. Pennsylvania American Water already has a robust lead service line replacement program and has replaced more than 250 lead service lines to date. The company plans to invest approximately $15 million in 2023 to replace lead service lines, and the program will continue into future years. 

The company requested approval from the PA Public Utility Commission for a customer-side lead service line replacement program, citing that systematically replacing customer-owned lead service lines is a reasonable, cost-effective way to help avoid customer health and safety concerns associated with lead service lines.

How can I “pipe up” and provide my service line material?

If you receive a postcard in the mail, scan the QR code or visit the website tinyurl.com/pawcsurvey. Customers can also provide the information by phone at 877-201-7926.

About Pennsylvania American Water

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people.

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and diversityataw.com. Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:                                 

Susan Turcmanovich

External Affairs Manager

570-351-0120

susan.turcmanovich@amwater.com

Pennsylvania American Water Environmental Grant Program

Pennsylvania American Water announced today that applications are now being accepted for the company’s 2023 Environmental Grant Program. The program offers funding for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and groundwater supplies in local communities.

“So many of our communities and local organizations work to improve our environment and our water resources,” said Marcus Kohl, director of water quality and environmental compliance for Pennsylvania American Water. “We’re proud to continue offering this grant to support those initiatives and positively impact our natural resources.”

To qualify, proposed projects must be:

  • Located within the Pennsylvania American Water service area
  • Completed between May and November of the grant funding year
  • Be a new, innovative community initiative or serve as a significant expansion to an existing program
  • Be carried out by a formal or informal partnership between two or more organizations
  • Provide evidence of sustainability (continued existence after the grant monies are utilized)

A panel of judges will evaluate the applications based on environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability. Information and applications can be found on the Environmental Grant Program page of the company’s website, under News & Community. For additional information, please contact pa.communityrelations@amwater.com. Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2023, and recipients will be notified in late April.

In 2022, the program awarded nearly $75,000 to 13 recipients, including: Berks Nature (Berks County); Dormont Stormwater Authority (Allegheny County); Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (Luzerne County); East Pikeland Township (Chester County); Ellwood City (Lawrence County); Fairview Township (York County); Indiana County Conservation District; Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (Lackawanna County); Lackawanna River Conservation Association (Lackawanna County); Three Rivers Waterkeeper (Allegheny County); Silver Spring Township (Cumberland County); Warren County Conservation District; and Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley (Northampton County.)Established in 2005, this annual grant program has donated more than $650,000 to fund more than 135 projects to protect and improve the environment across the Commonwealth. Last year, 13 organizations received funding for their community-based projects, including the Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley.  Funding was used to plant live-stake nurseries to be used for future riparian zone plantings and streambank stabilization projects.  One of these nurseries was planted in Lake Heritage, Adams County.  More information about this nursery planting can be found on Pennsylvania American Water’s YouTube page.

Pennsylvania American Water Awards Grants to 8 Organizations

In advance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrating the life and legacy of this prominent civil rights leader, Pennsylvania American Water today announced eight recipients of grants supporting the company’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity efforts. Grants in the amounts of $3,000-5,000 were awarded to eight organizations across the company’s service territory, totaling $35,000.

“Investing in organizations that promote inclusion, diversity and equity-related initiatives is a key component of our community engagement strategy,” said Justin Ladner, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “Through these grants, Pennsylvania American Water shows its continued commitment to helping create inclusive and welcoming communities across the Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania American Water selected the following organizations across its service territory that support and reflect the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity values and efforts:

Pennsylvania American Water’s “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest Winners

Pennsylvania American Water today announced the winners of its 20th Annual “Protect Our Watersheds” art contest, with a sixth-grade student from Cumberland County scoring top honors. The company received more than 400 entries from fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders across the Commonwealth.

Sixth grader Colton Stamy of Eagle View Middle School in Mechanicsburg earned the grand prize for his artwork, which will be featured on the cover of Pennsylvania American Water’s annual “Protect Our Watersheds” wall calendar. The calendars will be printed and distributed across the Commonwealth later this year for use in 2023. 

“With increasing emphasis on environmental education in schools, we are seeing more students take an active role in watershed preservation and protection,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Activities like our art contest help to remind us that we all have a part in protecting our water sources.”

Stamy’s artwork earned first prize among eastern Pennsylvania entries, followed by Ellie Hine, a sixth-grade student also from Eagle View Middle School, in second place. Sixth-grader Genevieve Cobley, of St. Mary’s of Carmel School in Dunmore (Lackawanna County), finished third.

Genevieve Cobley

In western Pennsylvania, the first-place winner is Annelise Mayer, a sixth-grade student from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Pittsburgh (Allegheny County), with second place going to sixth-grader Layden Painter from Butler Catholic School (Butler County), and fifth-grader Faith Simon from Ave Maria School in Jefferson Hills (Allegheny County) earning third place.

In addition to having their artwork featured in the 2023 wall calendar, winners will receive bookstore gift cards.

Six runners-up have also been selected, and their artwork will be featured in the calendar and highlighted on the company’s social media channels. They are: Michelle An Dao and Pranaya Ponduri, both sixth-graders at Eagle View Middle School; Elizabeth Rich, a sixth-grader at Holy Rosary Elementary School in St. Duryea (Luzerne County); Madalyn Krill, a fifth-grader at Butler Catholic School; Harper Davies, a sixth-grader at Thomas Jefferson Middle School; and Maddie Fellin, a sixth-grader at Ave Maria Academy.

Elizabeth Rich

Pennsylvania American Water’s contest requires that the students accompany their artwork with a short description of how watershed protection affects them personally.

For more information, visit amwater.com.

Pennsylvania American Water Announces Water Storage Upgrades

Pennsylvania American Water announced its 2022 plans to rehabilitate 14 of its water storage tanks and construct seven new structures. Pennsylvania American Water’s tank rehabilitation program of inspecting, sandblasting, and repainting tanks extends their service lives and helps protect water quality. The total cost of the company’s water storage improvements this year is approximately $16.5 million.

“Storage tanks are critical to meeting the supply demands of our customers and providing fire protection for our communities,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Properly and proactively maintaining tanks benefits our customers because of the cost efficiencies we can achieve by rehabilitating rather than replacing them.”

This year, the company will rehabilitate and repaint ground storage tanks in the following municipalities:

  • Bradford Township, Clearfield County – 500,000-gallon 
  • City of Uniontown, Fayette County – 1.3 million-gallon
  • Clarks Green Borough, Lackawanna County – 300,000-gallon
  • Cross Creek Township, Washington County – 1 million-gallon
  • East Buffalo Township, Union County – 1 million-gallon
  • East Norriton Township, Montgomery County – 2.8 million-gallon
  • Lake Heritage, Adams County – 60,000-gallon
  • Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County – 3 million-gallon
  • Mount Pocono Borough, Monroe County – 108,000-gallon 
  • North Sewickley Township, Beaver County – 300,000-gallon
  • Spring Township, Berks County – 250,000-gallon
  • Turbotville Borough, Northumberland County – 298,000-gallon
  • Union Township, Washington County – 5 million-gallon
  • Union Township, Washington County – 500,000-gallon

To rehabilitate the tanks, crews will strip the original paint and apply a new coating, which serves as a protective barrier that prevents the steel from rusting and impacting water quality. During construction, customers should not experience impacts on their water service.

The company also is constructing seven new ground storage tanks in the following municipalities to provide additional water storage capacity, which will help the company continue to deliver reliable water service to meet customer demand and provide fire protection:

  • Luzerne Township, Fayette County – 560,000-gallon
  • White Township, Indiana County – 250,000-gallon
  • Jackson Township, Luzerne County – 109,000-gallon
  • Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County– 200,000-gallon
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – Two 1 million-gallon tanks
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – 750,000-gallon

Pennsylvania American Water Announces 2022 Camps

Pennsylvania American Water today announced the return of the company’s annual Wonderful World of Water Camp, to be held in Wilkes-Barre and Peckville this year. The camps are offered free to children of Pennsylvania American Water customers. Camps were last held in 2019 and postponed in the following years due to COVID-19.

Sponsored and run by Pennsylvania American Water, the Wonderful World of Water Camp provides an opportunity for area children to enjoy outdoor fun while learning about water. Day campers, ages 7-11, explore watershed basics, learn how human activity on the land affects the quality of water in rivers and streams, and discover solutions to water pollution. Campers also learn about the importance of watershed protection along the banks of our local rivers, the Susquehanna River and the Lackawanna River.

The company is again partnering with Penn State Extension/Master Watershed Stewards and the Riverfront Parks Committee to host a Wonderful World of Water Camp at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, July 11-14. Registration for the Wilkes-Barre camp opened June 1. Forms are available online at riverfrontparks.org or by calling Penn State Extension at 570-825-1701.

Pennsylvania American Water and the Lackawanna River Conservation Association are gearing up for another year of water camp at the Valley Community Library, Peckville, August 1-4. Registration opens July 1. Forms are available online at www.lrca.org, by calling 570-347-6311, or by e-mailing program_manager@lrca.org.

Registration for each camp is limited to 25 campers. A deposit of $10 will hold a child’s space, and the deposit will be refunded at the end of camp.

“Our Wonderful World of Water Camp is back, offering a unique experience that takes children into the environment for hands-on learning about one of our most precious resources,” said Susan Turcmanovich, external affairs manager, Pennsylvania American Water. “We’re so fortunate to have our local rivers as the focal points of these camps, allowing campers to learn how they can help protect them while learning from local environmentalists.”

Pennsylvania American Water Announces Grants for Local Environmental Projects

Pennsylvania American Water announced today that 13 watershed-related projects across the Commonwealth will receive financial support through the company’s annual Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling nearly $75,000 for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from 50 applications, which were evaluated on environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.

“On this Earth Day, we are inspired by all of these organizations and their commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Mike Doran, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “We hope that these projects equally inspire our communities to get involved and help protect our natural resources.”

The 2022 grant recipients are:

· Berks Nature, Berks County – Papermill Dam Removal on the Cacoosing Creek ($6,476). Funding will be used to restore the riparian zone along Cacoosing Creek by planting native trees and plants. Additionally, a youth fishing program will be offered following the removal of the dam.

· Dormont Stormwater Authority, Allegheny County – West Liberty Avenue Parking Lot Rain Garden ($10,000). The Authority plans to install a rain garden at the West Liberty Avenue parking lot to provide a natural, pervious area for stormwater runoff. The garden will also help prevent flooding and debris from entering the collection system as a best management practice.

· Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Luzerne County (EPCAMR) – Millcreek Watershed Cleanups ($3,435). The project involves stream cleanups of unnamed tributaries along Mill and Gardner Creeks, along with the installation of dataloggers to monitor flow and pollution from nearby abandoned mines.

· East Pikeland Township, Chester County – Hidden River Park & Preserve Riparian Corridor Revitalization ($10,000). Funding will go toward a riparian revitalization project with native shrubs, trees, and 95 acres of meadow grasses to reduce erosion and restore the native habitat.

· Ellwood City, Lawrence County – Phase III Five Points Community Garden ($6,300). With the grant, the borough will install additional garden beds, complete walking paths, and install signage at the Five Points Community Garden.

· Fairview Township, York County – Lawn to Meadow Conversion ($3,863). The project involves using native plants and grasses, including pollinators, to improve water quality by creating a meadow within the township to reduce runoff into local waterways.

· Indiana County Conservation District – First Waves Indiana ($6,390). First Waves Indiana plans to engage underserved youth in meaningful outdoor experiences, including tree planting, stream biology, paddleboarding, and fly fishing, with a resulting video of the program.

· Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Lackawanna County – Restoration Plantings ($5,200) With this funding, volunteers will re-establish a native and biodiverse ecosystem as part of a riparian buffer zone restoration planting program along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.

· Lackawanna River Corridor Association, Lackawanna County – Managing Stormwater/Rain Barrel Workshop ($2,500). Funding will go toward three rain barrel workshops for residents to educate them on stormwater management and demonstrate rain barrel construction.

· Three Rivers Waterkeeper, Allegheny County – 3 Rivers Watch Expanding Water Quality Monitoring ($9,850). Funding will go toward expanding the organization’s volunteer program, including training for volunteers to assess water quality, as well as increased monitoring, patrolling, and water quality sampling.

· Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County – Water Sampling and Analysis Project ($950). The project involves investigating the origin of pollution sources impairing tributaries to Conodoguinet Creek through water and soil testing. The goal is to reduce pollutants in the streams.

· Warren County Conservation District – Where Would Our Streams Be Without Trees ($690). The Conservation District plans to study the impact riparian buffer restoration has on water quality on Barton Run.

· Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County – Restoration and Outreach Projects for Master Watershed Stewards ($9,240). The Coalition and its partners will install four native shrub nurseries for future sources for live stakes that can be used for stream bank stabilization to reduce pollution and erosion.

Pennsylvania American Water initiated its Environmental Grant Program in 2005 to support projects that protect or restore drinking water sources and surrounding watersheds. Since then, American Water has expanded the annual program to many of its state subsidiaries across the nation. To date, Pennsylvania American Water has donated more than $650,000 to fund more than 135 projects.