Tier II DBP Violation

Important Information About Your Non-Emergency Public Notice

The Steelton Borough Water Authority and staff take producing the highest quality drinking water very seriously. Over the past two years, the Authority has invested heavily into infrastructure and operational improvements in response to newer and more stringent environmental testing and reporting standards.

Some residents have asked questions about the Public Notices of non-emergency violations like the one enclosed. Below are answers to frequently asked questions:

Why am I receiving another drinking water violation notice?

HAA5 and TTHM levels are reported on a Running Annual Average, meaning a high result from a previous quarter will impact the average, possibly causing a violation, even if levels are below during certain times of the reporting year.

For this quarter, HAA5 levels were above the MCL at both testing locations. During our reporting year, we have also been well below the level. For example, last quarter HAA5s were reported at .045 and .02 for both locations, well under the .06 MCL. This quarter, unfortunately, the levels were .092 and .102. Contributors to the higher levels include increased river turbidity (cloudiness—a signal of organic matter that causes DBPs). Water plant staff continue to monitor and report DBPs on a regular basis and follow an extensive testing, reporting, and treatment protocol.

Are HAA5s violations unique to Steelton’s water system?

No. Many water systems in the country are dealing with HAA5 violations due to more stringent EPA standards and changes in testing/reporting requirements. Complying with these standards requires older water system’s like Steelton’s to make long term capital improvements that take time.

Why do disinfection byproducts like HAA5s occur in our water?

Virtually all water systems have disinfection byproducts of some level due to the fact that chlorine remains the most widely used chemical for water disinfection in the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Chlorine revolutionized water purification, reduced the incidence of waterborne diseases across the western world,” and “chlorination and/or filtration of drinking water has been hailed as the major public health achievement of the 20th century.” It is necessary to chlorinate water to eliminate bacteria that causes immediate emergency health risks. No such emergency health risks are occurring due to Steelton’s continued treatment of water.

While chlorination kills harmful pathogens in water (the primary concern of water treatment facilities), the process of chlorine interacting with organic material in water creates what are known as disinfection byproducts, primarily Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids. Factors such as temperature, turbidity (cloudiness of source water), and source water levels influence the amount of organic matter found in the raw water and, as a result, the amount of disinfection byproducts formed during treatment.

However, it is recognized that the removal of immediate pathogenic threats in water through chlorination takes first priority. Higher levels of disinfection byproducts are considered a Tier II non-acute violation (like the one enclosed). A lack of chlorination and the resulting microbial pathogens that would be present in water, represent a Tier I emergency violation.

Am I required to buy bottled water?

No. The Department of Environmental Protection and EPA clearly state that you do not need to change your source of water.

What if I have concerns about long term health risks associated with HAA5s?

Please consult your physician if you have any concerns about health risks associated with HAA5s.

What is the Water Authority doing to reduce/eliminate DBPs?

Construction of the chlorine contact tank system that will address this issue will begin this spring.

The Steelton Borough Authority awarded the bid for the Disinfection Byproducts Project which involves the construction of a chlorine contact tank that will provide for greater removal of disinfection byproducts before entering the water system. The $3 million project is expected to be completed in the summer.

The Authority is also making key system upgrades in early 2017 based on the findings of a comprehensive distribution system study recently completed.

If you have any additional questions about disinfection by-products or what we are doing, and have done, to ensure your drinking water is safe, please feel free to contact me at 717-939-9842 or Mark Handley at 717-939-0425 Ext. 5110.

Please know that we have worked—and continue to work—diligently to provide the safest drinking water possible.  In 2017, customers will see the completion of one of the largest capital improvements to Steelton’s water system in recent memory. These improvements are intended to address the issues outlined above.

Douglas E. Brown, Borough Manager and Authority Secretary

Click to Read the Tier II Notification

Applicants Sought for Steelton Codes Hearing Board

Steelton Borough is seeking residents interested in serving on the Codes Hearing Board. The Codes Hearing Board considers appeals by property owners that dispute a decision of the Codes Office related to property maintenance. Powers of the Codes Hearing Board are below:

Powers of Code Hearing Board. The Code Hearing Board shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) Interpretation. On appeal from a determination of the Code Enforcement Officer or on request of any Borough official, the Code Hearing Board shall decide any questions involving the interpretation of applicable codes and ordinances.

(2) Variances. The Code Hearing Board may grant a variance from the strict application of this chapter or of those other applicable codes and ordinances. Such variances may be granted only in those cases which would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and where the public health and safety shall not be jeopardized.

(3) Appeals. The Code Hearing Board shall hear all appeals made to it and, depending upon its findings, shall decide whether such appeals shall be granted.

Applicants must be residents of the Borough of Steelton. Experience in construction, building codes and maintenance preferred.

Interested applicants must submit a resume to dbrown@steeltonpa.com by December 30, 2016 in order to be considered for appointment to the board.
Douglas E. Brown, Borough Manager

Borough of Steelton
Phone: 717-939-9842 ext. 5030

Updated: Information Regarding Today’s Oil Spill and Steelton’s Water Supply

Updated: 10/23/2016

DEP has stated the oil will not impact us or our ability to treat water.

Date: 10/21/2016

As residents may have heard from various news outlets, an oil spill occurred in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania earlier today with approximately 55,000 gallons spilling into the northern Susquehanna River.

While the location of the spill is far north of Steelton, the Borough (like its surrounding municipalities) is preparing for the possibility that the oil impacted water may reach our part of the river. Projections have the oil reaching our location as early as Sunday. (more…)

Tier II DBP Violation

Date: September 16th, 2016 3pm

Important Information About the Public Notice Enclosed

The Steelton Borough Water Authority and staff take producing the highest quality drinking water very seriously. Over the past two years, the Authority has invested heavily into infrastructure and operational improvements in response to newer and more stringent environmental testing and reporting standards.

(more…)

Penn State Free Tree Initiative

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center is pleased to be able to offer free trees to landowners for the 4th year in a row. The native trees nursery is made possible by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation entitled “Greening the Lower Susquehanna.” The trees are available to landowners interested in planting riparian buffers or converting turf-to-trees. All of this year’s seedlings must be planted during the fall of 2016. We are in search of municipalities who may be interested in planting trees on their properties.

We are reaching out to municipalities specifically because planting these trees can aid in addressing MS4 permit requirements such as runoff control and public participation and involvement. All properties in Lebanon, Lancaster, and Dauphin Counties are eligible for this program. The trees are provided at no cost to you but will require maintenance until they become established which should include the purchase of tree tubes or cages.

Trees can also be provided to private landowners and we encourage you to adve11ise this program to your residents. Stock is limited and will be given out following an application process and project ranking system. Ranking criteria include location, positive environmental impacts, and project size. The simple application is due by July 31st and can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016treeapplication. A site visit will be required as part of the approval process. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Tyler Erb at 717-602-6456 or tme5111@psu.edu. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

PENNVEST Board Awards $3.05 Million Loan to Steelton Borough Authority for Chlorine Contact Tank Project

At its July 20th meeting, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Board voted to approve a $3,050,000 low-interest loan to finance the Steelton Borough Authority’s Disinfection Byproduct Removal Project.

PENNVEST funding will provide for the construction of a 230,000 gallon chlorine contact tank at the Steelton Water Filtration Plant. The contact tank is determined to be the most effective way of limiting the formation of disinfection byproducts in drinking water by allowing for post-treatment chlorination. Borough engineers, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, believe that this project coupled with current upgrades to the water distribution system will prevent future Tier II disinfection byproduct violations.

Steelton Borough Authority Secretary Doug Brown thanked PENNVEST board members, State Representative Patty Kim, State Senator Mike Folmer, and the Department of Environmental Protection for their commitment to supporting and assisting the Authority in improving its water treatment and delivery system. “The support of our state agencies and elected officials is critical to making the capital and operational changes needed to consistently meet all water quality standards. Improving our water system has truly been a team effort involving borough staff, engineers, Senator Folmer, Representative Kim, the Authority Board, PENNVEST, and DEP staff,” Brown said, “We have come a long way since the issues of 2014 because everyone has stepped up to the plate.”

The construction of the chlorine contact tank is expected to be completed by summer 2017. It is part of a number of current projects aimed at improving the Steelton water system.

Codes Memorandum – Subject: Suspicious Person

The Office of Code Enforcement would like to inform the public that:

On Thursday 06-02-16 the Steelton Police responded to two separate locations in the borough for a suspicious person knocking on residents doors. In the first incident the suspect knocked on the resident’s door and claimed he needed to check her wiring of her house. When the resident refused the male drove away. Approximately two hours later the suspect approached another resident and was inquiring to his home security system. He is described as a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s, wearing a baseball cap, carrying a clip board and driving a light colored sedan that is possibly silver. Anyone who has been contacted by a male matching this description is asked to contact the Steelton Police.

We would like to warn the public not to let any suspicious person claiming to be an inspector into their home, and to immediately call the Office of Code Enforcement at 717-939-1146, or the police non-emergency number at 717-939-9841 if they are approached by someone they think is falsely identifying themselves as a codes inspector. Our inspectors all wear white shirts which are clearly marked “Code Enforcement” and carry Borough-Issued Identification Cards and Badges. Over 99% of the time prior notice of an inspection is given so it’s rare for an inspector to just show up and demand entry inside of a property.

The Office of Code Enforcement is open Monday thru Thursday from 8AM to 4:30PM and on Friday from 8AM to 4PM. Please feel free to contact a staff member for any further questions or concerns.

Thank you
Amrinder Singh – Building Code Official


Codes Memorandum – Subject: Suspicious Person