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EPA in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Village to Get Safe, Reliable Water Supply

Stories of Progress in Achieving Healthy Waters

U.S. EPA Region 3 Water Protection Division

Hazle Township, Pennsylvania • June 4, 2015

A Pennsylvania village whose unfiltered, contaminated water source made it the Commonwealth’s top violator of federal and state drinking water laws will be connected to a public water system in 2015 with $2.2 million from EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

The Hazleton City Authority (HCA) received the EPA funding through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to install a two-mile, 12-inch water distribution line connecting about 40 homes in the Village of Stockton in Hazle Township. The water line will allow Stockton to abandon its current unregulated water system and provide a safe, reliable source of drinking water for its residents.

Stockton has drawn its water from three small surface ponds, according to the HCA, that are subject to runoff pollution and found by the state in 2014 to be contaminated with giardia, bacteria and iron. The ponds are connected to most homes through an old, three-inch piping system “in terrible shape” that in some places has only a pinky’s width of flow. The HCA has been providing a portable water tank as a temporary measure.

The project is considered a milestone for safe drinking water in Pennsylvania since it targets corrective funding to a community identified by EPA’s Enforcement Tracking Tool (ETT) and other systems as being in significant non-compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and state laws and regulations.

Vince Gallo of the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region’s Water Protection Division noted that the ETT uses a system of points applied to each violation. A score of 11 or more signifies that a system has serious problems. Stockton’s ETT score in 2015 was 319.

The Stockton system has had no operator or responsible ownership since it was discovered as a water system about five years ago. According to HCA Engineer John Synoski, the project will provide a filtered, dependable, high quality source of water, full fire protection, and regular maintenance. “We’re very grateful for the grant,” he said. Work is expected to start in July and be completed this fall.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Professional Engineering Services program was instrumental in coordinating the assistance.

EPA provides DWSRF funding to states to provide low interest loans and grants for capital improvement projects. The Stockton project demonstrates how funding can be linked with enforcement efforts to correct the most serious drinking water violations and protect public health.

A map of Pennsylvania highlighting the location of Hazle Township

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  • Pennsylvania Village to Get Safe, Reliable Water Supply (PDF)(1 pg, 690 K, 06/04/2015)
    A Pennsylvania village whose unfiltered, contaminated water source made it the Commonwealth’s top violator of federal and state drinking water laws will be connected to a public water system in 2015 with $2.2 million from EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).