Pennvest Grant to Defray Costs of Water Filters
I’m pleased to report that Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) has formally approved a grant, agreed to as a part of last year’s state budget to Horsham Township, for $10 million to defray the costs of the infrastructure necessary to remove perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from the public water supply. The Horsham Water and Sewer Authority has been buying water from nearby suppliers until the infrastructure is in place to remove all detectable levels of the chemicals from the water.

The funds will be used for infrastructure including carbon filters, which will remove all detectable levels of the contaminants perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) found in the public water system.

I’m thrilled these funds have been formally approved to help offset the costs of assuring residents are drinking safe water. This is part of the long-term solution developed by township officials.

With the support of Gov. Tom Wolf, I was able to place $10 million in grant funding in a bill that passed as part of the state budget process in July.

The United States Navy had agreed to pay for carbon filters on five of the 15 public wells contaminated by chemicals from the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station – Joint Reserve Base. These funds will allow Horsham officials to address contamination in the remaining wells.

The problem came to light when the federal government informed the people of Horsham that their public well water exceeded acceptable levels of PFOA and PFOS contaminants. Both have been linked to several health issues, which forced Horsham Water and Sewer Authority to twice take public water wells offline to remain compliant with federal standards.

Since 2016, when the federal government alerted Horsham residents that public well water in the area had exceeded acceptable levels of PFOA and PFOS contaminants caused by run off from the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, I’ve been pressing the federal government to accept its responsibility and fund the cost of cleaning these chemicals from our drinking water.

I also want the federal government to fund the testing and medical tracking of those who used this contaminated water.

We’ve had some success. The government has performed testing on a sample of residents, and the state has awarded grants to help local communities defray the cost of filtering out PFAS contaminants.

But so much more needs to be done, and that starts by being well-informed.

Below you will find resources to help you better understand the challenges ahead.

As always, you can call my office at 215-368-5165 with any questions.