Public Water Coming for 40 with Tainted Wells
The Horsham Township Council adopted an ordinance permitting the installation of public water lines in the area of Limekiln Pike.
By October, public water will be available to 40 Horsham homeowners whose private wells have tested positive for contaminants that taint drinking water, officials said.
The Horsham Township Council this week formalized measures that would allow the Horsham Township Water and Sewer Authority to serve as the lead contractor in installing an $850,000 water line, as well as the "mandatory hookup" of residents in the area of Limekiln Pike and Grindleton Lane and Davis Grove Road near Park Road.
Testing of wells in this section of Horsham Township began in June 2011. Since then, DEP officials have said levels of perchloroethylene or PCE were detected that are “above safe drinking water standards.”
The odorless and colorless chemical is a widely-used solvent commonly used in dry cleaning, or as a degreaser. According to Environmental Pollution Centers, “PCE is toxic to humans at very low concentrations.”
Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker said the authority would carry out the water line installation between July and October. Designs have not yet been finalized so Walker said it was too early to determine how the work would potentially impact traffic, or if vehicles would need to be rerouted during construction.
In instances where contamination is not an issue, Walker said the individual homeowner would be required to pay for public water connection and permanent sealing and capping of wells. But, in this instance, he said DEP is footing the bill.
Walker has requested that DEP also consider providing public water connection to homeowners in the nearby area of Park Road and Midfield Drive, where another type of contamination was discovered recently.
That contamination, Dichloroethylene, or DCE, was detected when a homeowner tested the property’s well, Walker said, something he said residents should do at least once a year to ensure safety drinking water standards.
“We don’t monitor wells,” Walker said. “There’s no regulation of private well testing.”