Aqua Pennsylvania, an Essential Utilities company, recently celebrated the official opening of its high-tech environmental laboratory with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 14,700-square-foot lab is more than double the size of the previous lab that served the company for more than 70 years. This investment will help Aqua adapt to the ever-changing water quality regulatory environment to better serve customers.
“For 135 years, our company has focused on delivering high-quality water to our communities and ensuring we are doing our due diligence to protect public health,” said Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. “The opening of this state-of-the-art laboratory at our headquarters in Bryn Mawr is the latest chapter in our long history of safeguarding our customers’ access to safe and reliable drinking water.”
The new lab employs 19 people: 13 chemists and microbiologists who conduct daily water sample tests and six other professionals who manage and conduct routine quality assurance tests and provide administrative support. Currently, lab employees perform about 90,000 water quality tests a year. The lab is named for a longtime Aqua employee, William C. Ross, who attended the event. Ross retired in 2018 as Aqua’s senior vice president of engineering and environmental affairs.
Aqua’s laboratory is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and test results are accepted by each state for compliance testing.
“As science evolves and technology advances, we need to adapt and change to continue to be efficient and effective with our water treatment process and our understanding of emerging contaminants,” said Christopher Crockett, Essential’s Chief Environmental, Safety, and Sustainability Officer. “The new laboratory allows us to continue to evolve, grow, and keep up with the rapidly changing developments in chemistry, microbiology, and the environment. Our team will be using advanced technology to better understand what could be in drinking water and, in turn, better serve our customers.”
Franklin, Crockett, and Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca were joined at the ceremony by Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence Jr., Lower Merion Township Commissioner Scott Zelov, representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and employees who work in the laboratory.
“It is an honor to officially open the new water quality laboratory with our partners, distinguished guests, and employees,” said Lucca. “The dedicated employees who work in our lab help ensure Aqua Pennsylvania is able to provide safe drinking water to our customers and return clean wastewater to the environment. Their work and our continued efforts to improve mean we will continue to deliver safe water to the communities we serve and protect our environment for years to come.”
Aqua Pennsylvania is a subsidiary of Essential Utilities Inc. and serves approximately 1.4 million people in 32 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.