Customers of Pennsylvania American Water in Whitemarsh Advised to Boil Their Water

Pennsylvania American Water is now advising those in Whitemarsh Township, and other communities, to boil their water.  Earlier today there was a mandatory conservation notice for customers in nearby municipalities. Below is the complete statement:

Pennsylvania American Water today issued a boil water advisory for customers in parts of Montgomery County, while a mandatory conservation notice remains in effect for all of the company’s Norristown area customers to reduce their water consumption.

Pennsylvania American Water experienced a loss in positive water pressure on Tuesday, May 20, due to treatment issues that limited the production capacity of its Norristown Water Treatment Plant. Recent heavy rains created high turbidity (cloudiness) in the raw water supply and affected the plant’s capacity.

A loss of positive water pressure is a signal of the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system through backflow by back pressure or back-siphonage. As a result, there is an increased chance that the water might contain disease-causing organisms.

The boil water advisory applies to the company’s customers in the following communities:

• East Norriton Township
• West Norriton Township
• Lower Providence Township
• Whitpain Township
• Worcester Township
• Whitemarsh Township

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and cool before using; or use bottled water. You should use boil or bottled water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice.

Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.

These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water, but also by other factors. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may wish to consult with your health care provider. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

What happened?  What is being done?

Pennsylvania American Water personnel are working to resolve the treatment issues at the plant. Customers might experience no water service or low pressure until normal production levels resume. Pennsylvania American Water is collecting and analyzing additional water quality samples including bacteria samples.

Pennsylvania American Water is providing alternate water sources. Water tankers will be stationed at the following locations and customers are asked to supply their own containers:

• Jeffersonville Fire Company at School Lane and Egypt Road
• Lower Providence Fire Company at Ridge Pike and East Mount Kirk Avenue
• East Norriton Fire Company on Swede Road
• East Norriton Fire Station at Germantown Pike and Whitehall Road

The mandatory conservation notice affects all of Pennsylvania American Water’s approximately 31,000 customers in its Norristown area system. Customers are asked to limit their water use to essential purposes only until plant operators can resolve the issue.

Customers will be notified when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water, and when the mandatory conservation notice is lifted. Updates will be provided through the Pennsylvania American Water website at, under the Alert Notifications section.  For more information, contact Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.