Slippery Rock’s municipal authority failed to comply with sampling procedures for two water contaminants, resulting in a string of violations reported to Slippery Rock residents by mailer on Feb. 16.
Paul Dickey, the supervisor of Slippery Rock township, said the municipal authority received its first violation when it took two samples rather than the four that were required. The Safe Drinking Water Act required more sampling due to an increase in the population the municipality serves, he indicated.
“The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called me and told me we needed to get two more sampling sites,” Dickey said. “They never told us we needed to sample from those sites, though.”
The second violation occurred when the municipality failed to notify the public of this error within one year, as required by DEP regulation, he continued.
On Dec. 18, 2014, samples were taken again, but they were rejected due to improper collection procedure, Dickey said.
“There was an air bubble in one of the samples,” he indicated. “You can’t have air in the samples.”
Samples were taken again on Dec. 31, 2014 and met all DEP standards, but the municipality received a third violation because the samples were not taken within three days of Dec. 15, as indicated by the mailer.
“There’s no logical reason why the samples need to be taken within three days of the 15th,” Dickey said.
Despite these violations, Dickey said Slippery Rock’s water is “perfectly safe” and that the municipality was required to state that its quality could not be ensured due to DEP regulation.
“We’re fortunate to have good quality water here,” he said. “We have well water and a new treatment plant that we just sent out a notice for too.”
The two contaminants in question, TTHM and HAA5, are chemical disinfectants that the DEP lists as having “long-term, adverse health consequences” to the liver, kidneys, heart and nervous system.
“The DEP has been working with us a lot more lately,” Dickey said. “Sometimes when you’re scrutinized more closely problems come up.”