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Click for Recent News about Drinking WaterResidents in the City of Milton, WV Can Look Forward to a Safe, Reliable Drinking Water System - The City of Milton, West Virginia was awarded a $956,000 grant to replace 43,000 Linear Feet (LF) of existing 2”-3” water lines in the east-end distribution system with brand new 8” water lines. The EPA grant will help pay for 55% of the estimated $4,322,000 project cost with the balance of the project financed by loans. The existing east-end distribution system is seriously deteriorated, causing significant water loss through leakage and the potential for contamination. The City will also extend the water distribution system to serve residents in three areas north of the City by constructing five miles of 2”-6” water lines and a 350,000 gallon water storage tank. These areas now get their drinking water from private wells that do not produce water that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act standards and do not provide an adequate water supply. The new system will help to improve public health for the residents of Milton previously served by the old, deteriorated system by eliminating the possibility of contamination and for the residents whose private wells are unsafe and inadequate. Construction began in August 2008.

Safe, Dependable Supply of Water for the Residents of Somerset County - A $1,933,700 earmark grant increase has been awarded to the Somerset County General Authority, Pennsylvania, to provide additional funding of the Quemahoning Reservoir Water Supply project. The amount of funds for this project total $2,656,900 ($1,933,700 from FY 2001 and $723,200 from FY 2004). The grant increase will provide additional funding for the water treatment plant building, three -1 MGD water filtration units, raw water pump station, clear well pump station and a SCADA/telemetry system. Construction has been underway since February 2008. The project includes the construction of storage tanks, a filtration plant, pumps, and a transmission main to service the boroughs and townships between the Quemahoning Reservoir and Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Halifax, Virginia, and the Town of South Boston Connect Drinking Water Service - EPA has awarded a $481,100 grant to Halifax for the construction of an interconnecting water line between Halifax and the Town of South Boston. For more than 45 years, Halifax relied on a small water treatment plant for their drinking water. This plant needed to be upgraded to meet current design standards and new drinking water rules, such as the disinfection byproducts rule. The estimated cost of upgrading the plant is significantly more than interconnecting the two water systems. Since South Boston has lost several major manufacturing industries, their plant has sufficient capacity to meet the combined water needs for at least 25 years. The interconnecting line is about 1,400 feet in length. Halifax will also be upgrading 4,000 feet of existing water line because of its deteriorated condition. This grant is being funded at a Federal share of 55%, based on an eligible project cost of $874,730.

The Ringgold Area of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, gets Public Drinking Water - EPA has awarded a $656,200 grant to Pittsylvania County for extending public water to the Ringgold service area. This service area is on the east side of the City of Danville. The county will be installing 18,200 feet of drinking water line which will provide drinking water from the Danville water system to the Witcher Road community and the Mount Zion Acres subdivision. The Witcher Road community is a low income, minority population consisting of 20 homes. Seventeen of these homes have no indoor plumbing. A Community Development Block Grant from HUD will provide for water and sewer services along Witcher Road and install indoor plumbing facilities in the occupied homes. The Mount Zion Acres subdivision currently uses a well to provide water to its 45 homes. The well water consistently exceeds the limits set by the Lead and Copper rule. This project will provide safe drinking water to these communities. This grant is being funded at a Federal share of 55%, based on an eligible project cost of $1,193, 091.

Jane Lew Public Service District Residents Now Enjoy Safe, Reliable Source of Drinking Water - The Jane Lew Public Service District in Jane Lew, West Virginia was awarded a $96,200 grant to replace existing old galvanized water mains and service lines, and gate valves. The Jane Lew drinking water system has a signifcant amount of leaks, estimated to be as much as a 36% water loss throughout their system. The leaks in the system can lead to possible contamination of the drinking water. In addition, residents of certain sections of the system are without drinking water at periods of time during system repair due to inoperable gate valves. The new system will improve public health for the residents of Jane Lew served by the old, deteriorated system by eliminating the possibility of contamination, and eliminate total water loss for certain residents during system repairs. At the same time, the District will be conserving water while saving energy. The EPA grant will help pay for 55% of the estimated $174,910 project cost while the balance of the project will be financed by a 0% loan from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. Construction is estimated to start in August 2009.

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EPA Grant to Hammond Public Service District Provides a Safe, Reliable Source of Drinking Water - The Hammond Public Service DistrictExit EPA Click for Disclaimerin Wellsburg, West Virginia was awarded a $52,900 grant to extend its existing drinking water system to the Lazears Lane section of the District. Residences and businesses in this area currently rely on water that is brought in by trucks and stored in cisterns. Potentially, this source of drinking water is unsafe and susceptible to bacterial contamination, and is not subject to any state or federal agency drinking water requirements. The project will eliminate the use of water brought in by trucks to serve the residents and businesses along Lazears Lane. As a result, the new customers will have a safe, reliable source of potable water that will meet federal and state drinking water standards. In addition, they will have a water supply that will provide adequate fire protection. The EPA grant will help pay for 55% of the estimated $154,900 project cost; construction is expected to begin in January 2008.

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AK Steel - The Borough of Zelienople is a small town located outside of Pittsburgh at the confluence of Scholars Run and Connoquenessing Creek. The Borough uses Connoquenessing Creek as a secondary source of drinking water during periods of drought when its primary drinking water source, Scholars Run, is insufficient. A stainless steel mill operated by AK SteelExit EPA Click for Disclaimeralso uses Connoquenessing Creek and its pollution discharge outfalls are located about 21 miles upstream of the Borough's secondary drinking water intake.

In March 2000, EPA was contacted by a citizens group claiming that the Borough of Zelienople had withdrawn water containing high concentrations of nitrate from the Connoquenessing Creek. EPA investigated this claim by retrieving discharge and drinking water data, inspecting the drinking water system and the AK Steel facility, and reviewing state files. At the time of EPA's investigation, the AK Steel facility was discharging nitrate at a rate of over 20,000 lbs/day even though the PA Department of Environmental Protection had determined that the Butler facility would need to meet a nitrate limit of 999 lb/day to protect the downstream drinking water intake. EPA subsequently determined that the discharge of treated spent pickle liquors from AK Steel's outfalls could, by raising nitrate levels in Connoquenessing Creek, cause imminent and substantial endangerment of persons consuming drinking water drawn from the creek. EPA also discovered that high nitrate levels were measured in drinking water from a well adjacent to the creek and downstream of the Borough.

The Borough had in the past provided drinking water to pregnant women and infants but had not taken measures to protect customers outside the Borough or transient populations. In June 2000, EPA issued an emergency order requiring AK Steel to:

  1. provide an alternative water source to the Borough,
  2. identify wells impacted by the nitrate discharge, and
  3. reduce nitrate discharge from the AK Steel facility by October 31, 2001.

AK Steel subsequently appealed the order in Federal court while simultaneously entering negotiations with EPA. In March 2001, EPA and AK Steel signed an Emergency Order on Consent. This agreement required AK Steel to:

From August 3, 2001 through November 21, 2001, the Borough of Zelienople withdrew water from the Connoquenessing Creek. The water from the creek was treated using the reverse osmosis system supplied by AK Steel to reduce the levels of nitrate. Approximately 55 million gallons of water had been treated through this system, and the system reduced the levels of nitrate to less than 1 parts per million (ppm). In addition, AK Steel was required to inventory and test private wells along the Connoquenessing. AK Steel has completed to EPA's satisfaction this part of the Order. The highest nitrate level found in any of the private wells was 3 ppm, well below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 10 ppm. AK Steel has also either converted or shut off their five lines ahead of schedule, and their nitrate discharges are only slightly above 200 lb/day. The Borough of Zelienople is now seeing nitrate levels from the Connoquenessing of approximately 2 ppm.

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Custer City, Pennsylvania - The Custer City oil facility, located in McKean County, Pennsylvania, had produced oil through primary methods in the 1950's. Prior to being developed for enhanced recovery, several old abandoned wells were identified and plugged. After several years of injection, an improperly abandoned well within the facility allowed production fluids to migrate into a underground source of drinking water which served several private water supplies. Benzene and other oil related contaminants, were identified at endangering levels in the water wells. EPA used its emergency authorities under the underground injection control program and the Safe Drinking Water Act to require the facility operator to properly plug and abandon the well in question and provide water treatment to the impacted residences. EPA also worked with local entities to help acquire a grant for the extension of a public water supply to the affected area.

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