Safe Drinking Water Effort Launches New Program

HARRISBURG — The new Partnership for Safe Water (PfSW) “Distribution Optimization Program,” a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water to all customers, announced its first two members this week.  The North Penn Water Authority provides drinking water service to about 78,000 people in Montgomery County was the first water system in the state to join the initiative.  Mifflintown Municipal Authority Water Plant, which serves 4,450 people in Juniata County, joined shortly afterwards.

After more than 10 years of discussion, planning and research, the PfSW has developed an optimization program for distribution systems to help water suppliers improve the quality and reliability of water supplied to their customers.  The program, which launched Jan. 1, 2011, is accepting new memberships.

All surface water, groundwater, and consecutive water systems are all eligible to enroll in the new Distribution System Optimization program, which is similar to the existing treatment plant program. The optimization program consists of four phases: a commitment to the program, annual data collection and submission, a self-assessment phase, and a final phase of Excellence in Distribution System Operation.

The PfSW is a voluntary cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania DEP, US Environmental Protection Agency, American Water Works Association and other drinking water organizations.  Its goal is to implement preventative measures that are based on optimizing treatment plant performance and distribution system performance.  By participating in the program, drinking water utilities are working to provide an additional measure of protection to their drinking water consumers.

Currently, 117 surface water treatment plants, serving a total of over 6.5 million people, are now involved in Pennsylvania’s Partnership for Safe Water program.

For more information, contact Kevin Anderson at 717-783-9764 or e-mail Information is also available on DEP’s website, keyword “filtration.”

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