Aqua Announces Partial Recovery of Pickering West Water Treatment Plant

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aqua water damage
Image via Aqua.
Historic flood levels from the Schuylkill River completely damaged Aqua’s one-million-gallon clear-well tank that stored treated drinking water prior to it being pumped from the plant to customers’ homes and businesses.

Aqua Pennsylvania has announced the recovery of partial operations at the Pickering West water treatment facility, which was heavily damaged by the devastating floods caused by Tropical Storm Ida last week.

This recovery will aid in bringing drinking water supply for Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks counties back to normal operation levels. However, it may take days or weeks for normal water supply levels to be achieved. Aqua strongly encourages customers throughout its southeastern Pennsylvania service area to continue their efforts to save water until further notice.

The repairs and partial operation of the Pickering West water treatment plant are major milestones in the recovery effort. The boil water advisory in portions of East Whiteland and Charlestown townships was lifted at 7:30 PM on Friday, Sept. 10 as system pressure and water supply started to stabilize. Coincident with this release, customers in these two communities are receiving automated calls, texts, and e-mails to inform them of the change to their drinking water.

Customer water conservation efforts played a critical role during the recovery efforts.

“The cooperation we received from customers across our southeastern Pennsylvania service area in reducing nonessential water use was a key factor in achieving this milestone just 10 days after the worst flooding event in the Philadelphia region since the 1860s,” said Marc Lucca, president of Aqua Pennsylvania. “The outpouring of support from so many customers across the region has been gratifying to me and the hundreds of employees who are Aqua Pennsylvania. From everyone at Aqua, I thank all our customers in southeastern Pennsylvania for their support and cooperation and ask them to continue their efforts for a little while longer as we work to get back to normal supply levels and full operations.”

Aqua had to shut down its Pickering West water treatment plant in Phoenixville last week due to catastrophic damage caused by historic flooding and loss of power. The plant provides a significant amount of drinking water supply to Aqua’s southeastern Pennsylvania service area. The company’s many sources of drinking water and robust water distribution infrastructure throughout the four-county system allowed for rerouting of water supply to compensate for the loss of up to 40 percent of the drinking water supply from the largest water treatment facility.

“Our employees are proud beyond words, tired beyond exhaustion, and dedicated in their work to serve customers,” said Lucca. “The partial recovery of operations at Pickering West was critical for the southeastern Pennsylvania drinking water supply. We are continuing repairs to bring the plant up to full operations. We are also continuously monitoring the water supply and continuing efforts to redistribute water throughout our southeastern Pennsylvania system.”

Aqua’s top tips to save water and stay informed are:

  1. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and shave.
  2. Take shorter showers.
  3. Only run washers and dishwashers with full loads.
  4. Turn off automatic sprinklers.
  5. Sign up for Aqua’s WaterSmart alerts, an automated service designed for quick, reliable communication about water quality and service in case of disruption. Aqua’s WaterSmart alerts are delivered by phone, text, or e-mail. Customers can enroll at AquaAmerica.com.

Customers can find more ways to save water at AquaWaterSmart.com and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense site. 

Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.5 million people in 32 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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