Pennsylvania American Water completed construction of its new Ellwood Water Treatment Plant. The new facility, which replaces a plant that dated back to 1909, was designed to meet or surpass drinking water standards so that our customers continue to receive high quality drinking water today – and for years to come.
Its design increases production capacity, improves reliability and enhances safety. The new plant is expandable and its processes scalable to meet the future demands and economic development needs of surrounding communities. We also upgraded local water mains and other system infrastructure to accommodate the new plant and improve reliability and service.
Pennsylvania American Water worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and local stakeholders throughout the construction process.
We thank our project neighbors and customers for their patience throughout the construction of this exciting new project, which represents one of the largest infrastructure investments in the region. Pennsylvania American Water will be welcoming customers to an open house at the new facility later this year.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When will I begin to receive water from the new treatment plant?
Customers living in close proximity to the plant, which is located in New Beaver Borough, will begin receiving water from the newly completed plant beginning the week of August 5, 2019. We anticipate the remaining customers will begin receiving water from the new treatment plant within the next few weeks.
Will there be any changes to my drinking water?
We do not anticipate any changes. However, the location of the new plant will cause some changes to the direction and speed of water flows inside the mains. As a result, customers may notice the temporary presence of sediment in their water. There is no health risk associated with this temporary condition that is common during infrastructure upgrades. Reports of increased sediment levels will be addressed with localized flushing.
Why was the new treatment plant needed?
The former Ellwood Water Treatment Plant, which was constructed in 1909, met the end of its useful life. Challenged by capacity and reliability limitations, the aging facility made piecemeal replacement of equipment cost prohibitive.
What is the new source of supply?
The new plant will have access to two sources of supply: the Connoquenessing Creek and Beaver River. Each can independently provide greater system reliability in the event of an emergency or should either source be compromised.
Will these sources provide me with the same high quality drinking water?
Pennsylvania American Water will employ stateof- the-art water treatment technologies that are proven to effectively treat the sources of supply. As always, Pennsylvania American Water remains dedicated to — and responsible for — delivering drinking water from the new plant that meets or surpasses state and federal standards.
In addition, our Ellwood City team was awarded the prestigious Director’s Award from the Partnership for Safe Drinking Water Program. The award honors utilities for achieving operational excellence by voluntarily optimizing their treatment facility operations and adopting more stringent performance goals than those required by federal and state drinking water standards. We are proud to report that our Ellwood system has met these voluntary goals for the last 18 years.
Will my rates increase because of this project?
There will not be an immediate impact on rates. Any rate changes must be approved by the PA Public Utility Commission. Customers in the new plant’s service area will not have to bear the entire cost of the project, as our single tariff pricing rate structure enables us to spread the cost of this much needed upgrade across our 658,000 customers.