At Aqua, public health protection is a cornerstone of our business. That’s why we take lead very seriously. As part of our efforts, we are supporting the national effort to raise awareness about lead poisoning prevention during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The question is what can the average person do to prevent lead in their drinking water? 

Believe it or not, the average person, and especially the homeowner, can do a lot. Lead is not in the water delivered to your home. Lead in drinking water actually originates in the pipe (owned by the property owner) from the street to the home and/or in the home plumbing pipe, solder, and plumbing fixtures inside the home. 

Aqua actually works hard to make sure the water chemistry we deliver to your street is not corrosive to help protect your plumbing, but every home is unique and can have specific issues beyond our control.

So let’s start with a couple simple things you can do, as well as some specific recommendations for renters. Remember let’s get the lead out!


1. Don’t cook, make baby formula, or drink from hot water. Lead can be more easily dissolved into warm water. Therefore, use cold water for your drinking and food preparation, especially baby formula and baby food. 

2. Replace old faucets with new water saving and lead-free faucets. Did you know old faucets can have up to 6 percent lead in the brass inside them? We find old faucets with brass containing lead to be a big reason for why there are elevated levels when we sample at peoples homes.

3. Remove and clean your faucet aerators every month. Every faucet has a little screen on it called an aerator to make the water come out nicely. You can remove it, clean it, or replace it in most cases.

4. Get your home tested for lead! You can contact your local health department to ask if they can help you test for lead.

5. Do you have a lead service line from the street into your home? This is something you can check. If you scratch the pipe that is coming INTO your water meter, you can get a rough idea if its lead or not. If you scratch it easily and it looks the color of a nickel, it may be lead. If it looks like a penny, it’s copper. Click here to learn more. If you want, once you scratch the section, you can even use a simple home test kit for $20 and check it yourself. If you still are not sure, contact your water supplier and/or your local plumber for confirmation/investigation. If you can’t access your meter,then look at the age of your home. Some areas of the U.S. used lead service lines until 1955. If your house is pre-1955, then it’s a potential candidate for inspection/check. 

6. If you have a lead service line, remove it! Don’t wait, contact a plumber and have it removed. If a water supplier is doing work and informs you that your service line is lead, get it replaced! Get the lead out!

7. Does your home plumbing have lead solder? If your home was built prior to 1988, it may have lead solder. Sometimes, do-it-yourself homeowners would do plumbing repairs using left-over lead solder after 1988. We have actually found large globs of lead solder in home plumbing below faucets that were replaced a long time ago. See #5 above on the test kit. 

8. Use a home filtration device if you want added protection. If you can’t do any of items above and are not sure if you have a lead service line, can’t remove the line (you might be renting), or want extra protection, a home filtration device may be your best option. See the information here from the National Sanitation foundation on how to select the proper device

9. If you are a renter, ask your property manager if they have a lead service line, if they tested the property for lead in the water, or to have the property water tested for lead. If you cannot get the property manager to provide the information, your local water utility might have information. If they do not and you cannot get the water tested and are still concerned, we recommend following item #8. You can also contact your local health department to ask if they can help you test for lead.



In conclusion, lead is serious business. As a parent, I know the worries we have about the things that can impact our children. Follow the advice above and lead in drinking water won’t be one of them.


For more information about preventing lead poisoning not only in drinking water but from paint and dirt, click here.





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The Top 5 Aquatic-Themed Halloween Costumes

Image: The Thrifty Gifter 

Halloween is right around the corner. Your youngest child wants to go as Elsaagain—and your oldest just can’t seem to decide. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Through the years we’ve seen some amazing costumes. So, whether you’re still searching for your kids or yourself, we’ve got you covered.

We may be a little biased toward the water-themed ones. But how could we not? Just look how awesome they are.


This costume is extremely easy to make, but the results are electric. Find an old umbrella, cover it in colorful streamers, and voilà!

For an extra touch: Tape some glow sticks to the inside of the umbrella.



Scuba diver

You’ll be swimming in candy! All you need to do is grab some old sweats, a couple of soda bottles, flippers, and your goggles. A major bonus for this costume is that it will it keep you warm all night!

For an extra touch: Use a fishing net or large fish bowl for your candy bag.




You can’t go wrong with a classic. Even before Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit big screens, this costume was popular. Now’s your chance to bring your own twist to it!

Just start with any brightly colored top. To mimic a flipper, cut a large piece of fabric in the desired shape and glue it to the front of your plants. For scales, cut out little ovals and taper them all the way down your legs.

For an extra touch: Glue sequins and glitter to your tail for additional wow factor. 



A shower

Yes, you read that correctly. This clever costume is one of our favorites. All you need is a hula-hoop, shower curtain, sticks or pipe, and backpack.


For an extra touch: Add cotton balls around the base for the appearance of suds.




We’ve saved the best for last. And, no we did not pick this one because it has Aqua in the name. (Ok maybe we did). But that doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the coolest costumes out there.

Throw on an orange tee, green tights, and shorts and you’re good to go.

For an extra touch: Paint a cheap plastic pitchfork gold to turn it into a majestic trident!




Bonus: Fish tank


We couldn’t bear to leave this one out. Mix and match tchotchkes from around the house for a personalized tank. All you need is a cardboard box, tape, paint and a lot of glue.


For an extra touch: Dress the whole family as fish for the best night of trick-or-treating!





Feeling inspired yet? Good! We can’t wait to see what you end up creating. Let us know what your favorite costumes are in the comments below.



From all of us here at Aqua, Happy Halloween!









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5 Water-Smart Tips for a Safe Halloween


October is National Safety Month. As you know, we here at Aqua America make water safety a top priority and with Halloween just around the corner we want to give you a few water-smart tips to ensure a safe, enjoyable All Hallows’ Eve.


1. Skip the Sprinklers

Whether you like it or not, trick-or-treaters will inevitably run across your yard on their way to the door this Halloween. While keeping your lawn hydrated is always important, we stress that you do not run your sprinklers or water the grass within 24 hours of Halloween festivities. Wet grass poses the threat of slips and falls for children – especially in the dark. So, skip the sprinklers this Halloween and conserve water! The trick-or-treaters (and your water bill) will thank you.


2. Halloween Hydration is Key


We cannot stress this enough: do not forget to hydrate this Halloween. Trick-or-treating typically takes hours and while you may not realize it, you do a lot of walking in that time. To avoid or reduce the risk of dehydration, toss a water bottle in your and your little ones’ bags before leaving the house. If you choose to stay in and hand out treats instead, we highly recommend investing in some mini water bottles to offer worn down trick-or-treaters and their parents.


3. Beware: Wet Leaves


Lawns littered with leaves are commonplace this time of year – however, so are thunderstorms and morning dew. Unfortunately, these things can create some major Halloween safety issues seeing as wet leaves are both incredibly slippery and difficult to spot at night. To prevent slipping hazards: make sure you rake, sweep and dispose of any leaves from walkways and porches before dusk on Halloween night.



4. Garden Hoses are not Ghoul-Friendly


Maintaining your garden in the fall season is just as important as it is in the spring, and we get that. That being said, be sure to check your gardening hose is shut off and put away before prime trick-or-treating hours begin (usually around 5:30 p.m.). You do not want to run the risk of someone getting sprayed with water, slipping on the wet driveway or tripping over your garden hose and tumbling to the ground in the dark of night.


5. Patch Your Pipes


With the combined increase in rainfall and low temperatures this October, many of us begin to run the risk of leaky pipes and flooded basements. No one wants to fall victim to a nasty “trick” so make sure to check your pipes in the days leading up to Halloween – if you see a crack or leak, contact an expert immediately. Puddles of water or mud can quickly build up along your property as a result of damaged pipes and no one wants their holiday ruined by plumbing issues.


From all of us at Aqua, we hope you have a safe and spooky Halloween!


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Aqua's Erin Feeney Recognized for Outstanding Mentorship


Congratulations are in order for Erin Feeney, a Financial Analyst in Rates and Planning at Aqua, who has been named the 2016 Volunteer of the Year by Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organization dedicated to empowering students to own their economic success through programs focusing on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. The organization recognized Feeney for her service during the 2015-2016 school year and her outstanding dedication to furthering JA's mission.


Feeney was the lead volunteer for Impress, a student-run start-up company founded by local teen entrepreneurs. The company was composed of approximately 25 students from Haverford High School, Upper Darby High School, St. Joseph's Prep, Radnor High School, Phoenixville Area High School, Woodlynde School, Great Valley High School, Science Leadership Academy, and Central Bucks High School West. The student group took home top honors at the JA National Student Leadership Summit on June 22 in Washington D.C. after competing against 15 other finalist companies from JA chapters across the country.


Feeney led a team of nine Aqua volunteers who mentored the students weekly at Aqua's Bryn Mawr offices as they developed and executed a business plan to sell a variety of personalized press metal products. The students brainstormed ideas, raised capital, elected officers, and developed an annual report, marketing materials and a formal presentation about their company. 

"This year the mission of the competition was 'enjoy the journey,' and our talented group of student entrepreneurs did just that," said Feeney. "In 16 short weeks, the students started and successfully ran a profitable company with support from me and eight other Aqua volunteers. It was incredibly rewarding to watch these students mature and develop their business skills, both individually and as a team."


Feeney says she is honored to receive the award, but she wouldn't have had a successful year without her fellow volunteers and the passionate students on the team.

"My fellow volunteers also deserve a lot of credit, as well as the senior management team, who not only allowed us to use Aqua's facilities throughout the competition, but also supported the program and our efforts to mentor the students," Feeney explained. 


 Feeney with fellow volunteers Scott Szczygiel and Greg Galiffa.

Feeney's involvement with JA began four years ago when her mentor was involved with the program. She has been the lead volunteer for the last two years and has loved working with dedicated team members and groups of motivated students. 

"Aqua is proud to partner with Junior Achievement to provide mentorship and real-world business skills to local students," says Aqua Chief Financial Officer Dave Smeltzer. "We are especially proud of Erin and all of our employee volunteers, who have given up countless hours of their personal time to lend their business acumen to such a worthwhile organization." Smeltzer is a member of the JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania board of directors.

Congratulations to Erin Feeney on her well-deserved recognition!



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Tree Planting with Aqua at the Perkiomen Creek Watershed

Here at Aqua, we take pride in coming together with local conservationists and residents to improve water quality in an eco-friendly way.


 That’s why on Friday, Oct. 7, several Aqua employees, along with dozens of volunteers, showed up to plant native trees at the Perkiomen Creek Watershed, adjacent to our Green Lane reservoir. Aqua’s Watershed Specialist Robert Kahley, Chief Environmental Officer Chris Crockett, Manager - Water Resources Engineering Tony Fernandes, and Director of Environmental Compliance Deborah Watkins, were among the green-thumbed volunteers protecting our local water ecosystems through environmental stewardship.



In less than two hours, the volunteers planted 120 new trees, and by the end of the day, the number was up to an impressive 620. Think about it — that’s 620 new native trees, releasing fresh oxygen into the air that wasn’t there before. The trees may be short in height now, but their positive impact on the environment is nothing close to small.

Join us in thanking our stellar Aqua employees for their continued hard work, both for our customers and the world around us.  


 To learn more, visit: http://bit.ly/2e2Tw4d




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