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Drinking Water

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NEWS
April 13, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Standing outside a Montgomery County military base where chemicals from firefighting foam has contaminated public drinking water, two local congressmen made a bipartisan appeal Monday for stricter drinking-water regulations. "Residents are understandably concerned these chemicals are to blame for their health concerns," said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.). Boyle traveled Monday to Naval Air Station Willow Grove with Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan to apply public pressure to the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize new standards for safe levels of chemicals in drinking water.
NEWS
October 12, 2000 | By Susan Snyder, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Philadelphia School District has begun providing bottled water to 70 schools that have yet to be tested for lead in their drinking water. "We've done this to allay people's concerns," said Barbara Farley, a district spokeswoman. The drinking-water taps have been shut off in those buildings and will stay off until they are determined to be safe through testing, she said. Last year, the school district signed an agreement with the city Health Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin testing for lead in water in all 295 district buildings.
NEWS
January 24, 1989 | By Sari Harrar, Special to The Inquirer
A farmer asked the Moorestown Township Council last night to help speed testing for hazardous chemical pollution in the groundwater on his property and other land in the eastern section of the township. "This is possibly affecting the drinking water of people in this area who are not on the municipal water system," asked farmer Greg Leonberg. "I would ask the township to help us in any way you can. Engineers for the General Electric Corp. this month asked Leonberg for permission to run tests on his 36-acre farm to determine how far chemicals have spread from underground leaks at GE's Government Electronic Systems Division on Borton Landing Road.
NEWS
April 23, 1989 | By Mark Jaffe, Inquirer Staff Writer
Every Monday morning, Laura Zalar and Ruby Burkett take a couple of gallon jugs of Clorox and hike about a mile to a small cinderblock bunker in the Cambria County woods. There they pour half a jug into a plastic 30-gallon tub and mix it with water. The solution runs out of a tube and slowly drips into the pipe that carries water from a pond in the woods to Onnalinda's 18 homes. And that is how this weathered, played-out coal hamlet disinfects its drinking water. "It's about the best we can do. . . . It seems to work all right," Zalar said.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel and Laura McCrystal, Staff Writers
When the planes burned, the kids would come out. Hope Grosse and her siblings would run down their Warminster street and rubberneck amid shrieking sirens. They would watch Navy firefighters shoot a dense white foam from hoses, smothering the flames that leapt up from the fenced-off lot. When the blackened plane was cool, the children would climb the fence and jump into the burned-out cockpit, pretending to be pilots, Grosse recounted. The plane, and the field where the Navy conducted drills, was also a playground for the Kirk Road kids back in the 1970s and '80s.
NEWS
November 28, 2004 | By Dawn Fallik INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Scientists are finding traces of drugs, herbicides and fragrances - even birth-control hormones and weed killers - in the nation's drinking water. Where once experts thought the water-filtration process would eliminate the chemicals, new studies, including surveys in Philadelphia and New Jersey, have discovered otherwise. One water industry investigation into 18 drinking-water plants nationwide found the compounds in 14 of them. "Initially it was a surprise," said Joseph Bella, executive director for the Passaic Valley Water Commission, whose plant was the basis of the New Jersey study.
NEWS
April 19, 1994 | by Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Even modern American cities like Philadelphia are vulnerable to microscopic killers in the water, environmental groups said yesterday as they urged Congress to support strict water quality controls. Citing the threat of microorganisms that defy chlorine and may escape detection, the groups pointed to federal Centers for Disease Control figures showing that 900,000 Americans are sickened by their drinking water each year. Last year a parasite killed 104 people and sickened 400,000 in Milwaukee.
NEWS
June 23, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
The state Department of Environmental Protection is trying to determine the source of an unacceptable level of contamination found in drinking water in Doylestown, officials said Tuesday. A public drinking well along Easton Road in the Cross Keys area was shut down last month after inspectors found levels of perfluorinated compounds higher than newly announced federal standards. Public drinking water there is now safe, officials said. But they are trying to identify how the well became contaminated with PFOS and PFOA.
NEWS
May 14, 1986 | By Charles Green, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Responding to concerns over groundwater contamination, the House yesterday voted overwhelmingly to strengthen the nation's main environmental law regulating drinking water supplies. The Senate is expected to approve the same measure - an overhaul of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act - and send it to the President, perhaps as early as this week, for his signature. The bill bans the use of lead in drinking-water systems, directs the Environmental Protection Agency to issue standards within three years for 83 contaminants, and requires states to begin taking steps to protect underground sources of drinking water.
NEWS
November 17, 1998 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia drinking water meets or exceeds all federal standards, according to a new report mandated by the 1996 Clean Water Act. About 3 percent of homes tested showed elevated levels of lead in tap water, and some samples of water supplied to homes in South and West Philadelphia showed elevated levels of disinfectant by-products. But none of the tests showed overall contamination beyond the range permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Philadelphia Water Department will release a detailed, six-page report in advertisements in local weekly newspapers later this month and will mail copies of the 1998 version of the report to all customers with billing statements by next June, said Joanne Dahme, general manager of public affairs for the department.
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NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Horsham Township will get $10 million in state funding to clean up drinking water contaminated with chemicals from the now shuttered naval base in Willow Grove. With that money, local officials will develop steps beyond those taken by the Navy and Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that their drinking water is safe. Rep. Todd Stephens (R., Montgomery) said he fought for the money for his township because he was "increasingly frustrated" with the response from federal agencies.
NEWS
June 29, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Federal officials say the drinking water in Horsham Township is safe, but with mounting concern over contaminated water and a lack of answers about long-term health effects, officials in the Montgomery County town vowed Monday night to take extra steps to make their water even safer. "We understand that people have lost confidence in our water supply," Township Councilman Gregory Nesbitt told dozens of residents at Monday's meeting, where the council considered actions beyond federal guidelines to reduce the contamination in drinking water to an undetectable amount.
NEWS
June 28, 2016
ISSUE | WATER QUALITY Testing free in Philly The Philadelphia Water Department has been and continues to be fully in compliance with regulations to control lead and copper in drinking water, as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("Time to get the lead out," Thursday). The Water Department will continue to work closely with the DEP to refine sampling protocols. The department has long offered free testing in homes for lead. Our consistent education and outreach - in public meetings, in brochures, on the internet, and on social media - have focused on the actions customers can take to ensure they are receiving clean and healthy drinking water from our mains.
NEWS
June 24, 2016
Philadelphia's water supply doesn't have the high lead levels that endangered public health in Flint, Mich., but the city could do a better job of informing residents of the potential danger of lead leached from pipes in older homes. Lead is a quiet poison that causes long-term damage to almost every system in the body while typically showing no obvious symptoms. Philadelphia children routinely test high for lead levels. Until recently, this was attributed almost exclusively to lead paint, but growing concern about lead-pipe corrosion has brought more attention to the necessity of testing drinking water.
NEWS
June 23, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
The state Department of Environmental Protection is trying to determine the source of an unacceptable level of contamination found in drinking water in Doylestown, officials said Tuesday. A public drinking well along Easton Road in the Cross Keys area was shut down last month after inspectors found levels of perfluorinated compounds higher than newly announced federal standards. Public drinking water there is now safe, officials said. But they are trying to identify how the well became contaminated with PFOS and PFOA.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal and Justine McDaniel, STAFF WRITERS
As lawmakers demanded answers this spring about water contamination in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Paul Lutz began chemotherapy. Lutz does not live in the area with the tainted drinking water, which came from chemicals used on naval air bases. But he worked at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station as a flight engineer. Now 44 and retired from the military, he has multiple myeloma. As water contamination near the base attracts scrutiny, Lutz and others who worked there wonder: What about us?
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel and Laura McCrystal, Staff Writers
When the planes burned, the kids would come out. Hope Grosse and her siblings would run down their Warminster street and rubberneck amid shrieking sirens. They would watch Navy firefighters shoot a dense white foam from hoses, smothering the flames that leapt up from the fenced-off lot. When the blackened plane was cool, the children would climb the fence and jump into the burned-out cockpit, pretending to be pilots, Grosse recounted. The plane, and the field where the Navy conducted drills, was also a playground for the Kirk Road kids back in the 1970s and '80s.
NEWS
June 18, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
Aqua America Inc., the Bryn Mawr water utility, has hired a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Water Department as its chief environmental officer. Christopher S. Crockett, the department's deputy commissioner, will be responsible for overseeing water quality and environmental compliance for all Aqua America's drinking water and wastewater systems in eight states. He will also manage Aqua's in-house laboratory and the company's water-quality services and water-resources engineering departments.
NEWS
May 26, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
Less than a week after new federal guidelines effectively doubled the number of contaminated public water wells near the former naval air bases at Willow Grove and Warminster, residents lined up out the door for an open house with environmental and military officials. "What are they going to do? How bad is it?" asked Sherri Meier, 50, of Warminster, who said she did not want to drink tap water even though the public water supply has been deemed safe. For some among those who packed the room at the Horsham Township Community Center and roamed among the information tables, answers were wanting.
NEWS
May 25, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel and Laura McCrystal, STAFF WRITERS
Eight more wells that supply public drinking water have been shut down in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and dozens of private wells have been called into question, after the Environmental Protection Agency issued more stringent guidelines on water contamination last week. In total, 16 public wells have been closed in the two counties since the discovery two years ago that drinking water in Horsham, Warminster, and Warrington Townships had been tainted by firefighting foams. The chemicals were used over decades in the mid- to late 20th century at now-shuttered naval air bases in the area.
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