UPDATED at 12:20 p.m.: Warwick Township extended and updated their BOIL WATER advisory this morning. Residents affected are instructed by the township to boil their water for 48 hours instead of only 24 hours. In addition, the township has clarified the streets and areas affected by the BOIL WATER advisory. See below for details.
LITITZ, Pa.-(LititzDailyNews.com)- A boil water advisory was issued late Wednesday night by Warwick Township officials due to a water main break in Lititz Borough. Warwick Township buys water from Lititz Borough and delivers it to township customers in its Lititz-area
In a notice posted to the Warwick Township Facebook page after 10 p.m., the township notified followers that “Due to a water main break in Lititz Borough, the area of Green Acre Road, Longenecker Road and Orange Street are out of service until the main is repaired. There is a mandatory 24 hour boil water advisory in affect.” UPDATE: Warwick Township doubled the recommended length of time that residents should boil their water to 48 hours in an update to its Facebook post this morning. (Note: While boiling water may address bacterial contamination, it may increase concentrations of lead if it is present in the water.)
In the Thursday morning update, the township clarified on Facebook that “the area of Green Acre Road, Longenecker Road, West Orange Street and the surrounding area is under a boil water advisory for the next 48 hours effective immediately. You will be notified when the advisory is lifted. This advisory affects only the area indicated (locations in the northern area of the Township, as well as the eastern and southern areas are not affected).”
Warwick Township Municipal Authority (WTMA) was found in violation of tap water lead testing rules by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in March 2016, after a LititzDailyNews.com investigation prompted a state review.
The LititzDailyNews.com investigation uncovered that rather than testing lead levels in 30 homes at high risk for lead in 2010 as required, the township manager doubled-tested his own home and authorized the double-sampling of homes belonging to township employees, contractors, and the Severn Trent Services employee who oversaw the water supplied to the township. The state ruled that WTMA violated the law when it double-sampled homes, failed to test the correct number of homes, and failed to properly identify and test homes at highest risk for lead.
Most of the aging water mains in Lititz Borough are made of cast iron, according to Lititz Borough officials. EPA experts acknowledged during a recent web conference that cast iron mains can contribute to high lead levels in a community system, as they did in Flint, Michigan.
High lead levels were found in Lititz Borough as recently as 2010, but were not reported in the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report to consumers. The borough manager signed off on the accuracy of the faulty report to the DEP. In March 2016, the state DEP issued a Notice of Violation to Lititz Borough for violations of the lead testing and reporting rules between 2010-2013. During that same time period, EPA and DEP officials awarded Lititz Borough and Warwick Township for their water quality.
Lynn Rebuck is the editor of LititzDailyNews.com, the independent, national award-winning source for Lititz news. Email LititzDaily@yahoo.com to subscribe for FREE to breaking news alerts and the Lititz Community Calendar.