PUC Highlights Recent Actions To Protect Drinking Water For Drinking Water Week

On May 6, the Public Utility Commission highlighted the recent “Drinking Water Week” in the Commonwealth as part of an ongoing effort to increase awareness about the importance of safe drinking water.

“This week, we renew our commitment to working to solve challenges facing the public water supply with a focus on protecting treated drinking water from contaminants,” said Commissioner Ralph V. Yanora.  “The Commission continues to work with customers, regulated water utilities and our sister state agencies to realize the public health goals of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act of 1984 by celebrating Drinking Water Week.”

Commissioner Yanora noted the Commission’s most recent efforts to achieve these goals, including the April 30, 2020, Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) which modernizes the Commission’s regulations, and the Commission’s Sept. 17, 2020, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) which addresses the replacement of metallic lead service lines.

The April 30, 2020, ANOPR revises the Commission’s regulations to ensure that new utility water providers are qualified and capable of providing safe, adequate, and reasonably continuous service.

 This modernization also considers what methods the Commission might use to reduce or eliminate the presence of emerging contaminants such as lead, perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOS/PFOA), and Legionella from public drinking water supplies when existing water systems are acquired by utility water providers.

As a part of this, the Commission will examine how it might better coordinate its regulation with that of the Department of Environmental Protection regarding cross-connection control programs approved by the DEP.

The Sept. 17, 2020, NOPR addresses the implementation of Act 120 of 2018.  Act 120 directed the accelerated replacement of customer-owned metallic lead service lines to remove potential sources of toxic heavy metals from the public water supply. 

The Commission’s implementation of Act 120 will work to remove and replace metallic lead service lines in a manner that reasonably balances the urgent need for the rehabilitation of this potentially unsafe customer-owned water infrastructure with the costs of replacement.

Visit the Public Utility Commission website to learn more about its programs.

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[Posted: May 6, 2021]


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