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About the Partnership for Safe Water









Partner with us to Optimize Operations:

The Partnership for Safe Water Program

Attention: Non-Partnership Members…Surface and Groundwater Treatment Plants and Distribution System Operations

Partners in PA JULY 2019

PfSW Treatment Program

PfSW Distribution Program

Enclosed please find our latest Partners in PA newsletter which recognizes the latest accomplishments of our current members.  As you can see we have a lot of members who are dedicated to making their utilities the best that they can be.  We would like to have you join and become a part of our great Partnership for Safe Water program.

The Partnership for Safe Water is a voluntary utility program with a mission of improving the quality of drinking water delivered to customers by optimizing surface and groundwater treatment plants and distribution system operations.  The Partnership’s comprehensive self-assessment and optimization programs provide utilities with the tools they need to improve performance beyond even proposed regulatory levels.

The Treatment Plant Optimization Program is open to surface water filtration plants of all sizes and process configurations and is focused on reducing treated water turbidity to protect public health.  The Distribution System Optimization Program is open to any water utility that applies a distribution system disinfectant and is focused on evaluating and optimizing distribution system performance based on a variety of parameters, including disinfectant residual.  The Groundwater program is open to well water systems that remove a contaminant as part of their treatment process (arsenic, TDS, iron, manganese, etc).   Low annual subscriber fees are based on population served and cost utility customers less than a penny per year, while providing a measureable improvement in drinking water quality.

Partnership utilities receive recognition as they progress through the program’s phases and reach optimization milestones, demonstrating their commitment to improving water quality and protecting public health.   Benefits of joining the program(s) include enhanced water quality to customers, reducing the risk of passage of microbial contaminants, improving teamwork at all levels, development of a proactive approach to future compliance with proposed regulations, and enhancing customer confidence through awards and recognition programs.


Join the more than 220 Partnership utilities that participate in and benefit from the Partnership for Safe Water’s utility optimization programs.  To learn more, visit or contact one of our PfSW representatives directly:   John Bartol  (610-751-3013), Kate O’Neill (412-327-5460), Barry Herr –  (724-622-0461) Tom Detweiler  (570-977-1648), Paul Zielinski (717-645-2636), or PfSW the administrator for the PfSW Reps –Nancy Dinger  (717-774-8870)

2015 Safe Water Conference Presentations available here.
Special thanks to: John Brady, Entech Engineering

How does the water consumer benefit from the Partnership?
Water quality will be improved. Through this Partnership, water experts will provide utilities with guidance, advice, and technical assistance for fine-tuning water treatment. Partnership members are committed to taking preventive treatment actions to insure drinking water is always safe, no matter what environmental influences may impact raw water quality.

Why is this program important?
As water providers identify and battle microbial contaminants such as “Cryptosporidium,” achieving optimum water treatment has become more important. Partnership members are taking aggressive steps to perfect their everyday water operations and maintenance to combat water contaminants. Their overall goal is to improve drinking water quality and treatment.

The Partnership also strengthens the relationship of the government, utilities, and water organizations so they can continue to work together to insure the quality of public drinking water.

What are the Partners required to do?
In addition to committing to ongoing water treatment enhancement, Partnership members must meet current USEPA water quality standards, be in compliance with the Surface Water Treatment Rule for the past six months, have a third party assess their water operations, implement system improvements identified by the assessment, and communicate their efforts to their customers.

The following four phases were developed to help the Partnership members meet the requirements.

Phase I – the agreement to participate in the Partnership for Safe Water. The agreement requires the water supplier to have met the USEPA’s Surface Water Treatment Rule, pledge to complete at least Phases II and III of the Partnership program, and notify their consumers of their progress.

Phase II – the data collection process. Partners will collect basic plant and plant performance data, assess current operations and evaluate areas where performance can be enhanced. Partners have 180 days to complete Phase II.

Phase III – a comprehensive water treatment self-assessment. Partners will examine the data collected in Phase II and identify and correct any performance-limiting factors. Partners will report their progress to the “Program Effectiveness Assessment Committee,” a group of independent national experts.

…..a third-party assessment using the USEPA Composite Correction Program (CCP). CCP emphasizes using corrective measures for optimizing filtration plant performance that do not require major construction or major expense. Phase IV involves having the water supplier’s corrective measures reviewed by trained third-party assessors.


Phase IV recognizes the highest level of optimization with exclusive Presidents and Excellence awards.

Who are the Partnership Members?

Nearly 300 water utilities across the nation have joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies, Association Of State Drinking Water Administrators, and the American Water Works Association Research Foundation in the Partnership for Safe Water. Experts on water quality and treatment from throughout the industry have contributed their time and knowledge to help develop the comprehensive administrative, operational, and technical requirements of the Partnership’s Four-Phased program.

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