We're pleased to present to you this year's
Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.

This report is designed to inform you about the quality water and services we deliver to you every day. Our constant goal is to provide you with a dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water. Our primary water source is the Laurel Creek Reservoir. In addition to that source, we are permitted to draw from four groundwater sources, wells, throughout the service area.

A source water assessment report is available at our office that provides more detailed information such as potential sources of contamination. A summary of our water system’s susceptibility to potential sources of contamination can be viewed below.

Lead In Drinking Water

What is lead?

Lead is a common naturally occurring metallic element that can be found in air, soil, and water. It is also a powerful toxin that is harmful to human health. Lead was commonly used in gasoline and paint until the 1970s and is still sometimes found in products such as ceramics, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics. Lead was used for centuries in plumbing because of its pliability and resistance to leaks; lead's chemical symbol, Pb, is derived from the Latin word for plumbing.

In 1986, U.S. Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to prohibit the use of pipes, solder, or flux that were not “lead-free.” At the time lead-free was defined as solder and flux with no more than .2% lead and pipes with no more than 8%. In 2014, the maximum allowable lead content was reduced from not more than 8% to not more than a weighted average of 0.25% of the wetted surface of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.

Where does lead in drinking water come from?

Learn about lead in drinking water and how it gets there by checking out this infographic from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The risk of lead exposure will vary from home to home. In some homes, the risk may be from lead-based paint. This continues to be the primary area of concern for public health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control.


Additional MCMA Information Resources:

MCMA fact sheet - Lead and Keeping Your Drinking Water Safe

MCMA Lead & Copper Testing Results

US Environmental Protection Agency Strategy to Reduce Lead

US Environmental Protection Agency Lead in Drinking Water

US Environmental Protection Agency Reference Guide on the Lead & Copper Rule for Water Utilities

Annual Water Line Flushing

The Importance of Flushing Water Lines

Residents who notice Mifflin County Municipal Authority (MCMA) crews working at fire hydrants and see water running into the street may think that MCMA is ignoring its own philosophy on conserving water. The process of periodically "flushing" fire hydrants, however, is an important preventative maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water, this process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers.

Flushing the water system on a routine basis removes sediment from water distribution lines and keeps the entire distribution system refreshed. MCMA maintains nearly 300 miles of domestic water lines throughout its service area, which covers the majority of Mifflin County.

Each water main and every fire hydrant is flushed, at a minimum, on an annual basis.

As a result of the flushing procedure, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work area may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and precipitates and does not affect the safety of the water.   If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your own home by running all water faucets for a minute or two.

This same philosophy of water line preventive maintenance is one that you should use in your own home. Your home's water heater should be drained and flushed at least once a year to keep it working efficiently and to protect the quality of water inside your home. Also, if you go out of town and there is no water use in your home for a week or more, when you return it's always a good idea to run all your faucets for a minute or so before using the water. This ensures that you don't use any stagnant water that may have developed in your home's pipes while you were away.

What can customers do?

Try to refrain from using water during flushing, as you will introduce particles into your piping.

By-pass a water softener prior to the start of flushing.

After flushing is complete, open an outside faucet closest to the point of entry to your home to help clear any discolored water you may have.

Put the water softener back on-line and manually start the regeneration cycle.

Clean your faucet aerators twice annually. Aerators are the screens that screw into the end of the faucet.

Water Quality Monitoring Updates

MCMA continuously monitors emerging issues and regulations to understand the impact on our treatment processes and daily work to protect public health and the environment. MCMA will take any necessary actions to continue to meet or exceed federal and state safety standards. The rigorous sampling protocol in place and the ability to adapt to changes in regulations, as they are determined, ensure compliance with prescribed regulations. 

EPA Releases PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) Health Advisories (06/17/22)

What Are Drinking Water Health Advisories?
Drinking water health advisories provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. EPA's health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information to drinking water system operators, as well as federal, state, Tribal, and local officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with
drinking water contamination.

Click here to view the EPA Fact Sheet for Public Water Systems

Additional information can be found at the following links:

Safe Drinking Water Act - https://www.epa.gov/sdwa

Clean Water Act - https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act

Additional PFAS Information & Resources

What are PFAS?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals used since the 1940s in common household and commercial products. PFAS have unique chemical properties and are resistant to heat, water, and oil. They have been used to make cookware, carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, and other materials that are resistant to water, grease, or stains. The chemicals are used in firefighting foams and in a number of industrial processes.
Many recent news articles and movies focus on PFAS, typically when they are found in local drinking water. Water gets this media attention because it is regularly tested for potentially harmful chemicals by law, unlike many of the other things we eat, drink, and breathe.
PFAS are slow to break down in the environment and can move far from their original use areas. The manufacturing and use of these products put PFAS into the environment, where, over time, they may end up in drinking water supplies. Understanding how PFAS can enter our environment, our homes, and our bodies can help us manage our exposure.

How Does PFAS Enter the Environment?

  • PFAS can enter the environment as we throw away products that have PFAS, and through our own bodily waste.
  • PFAS can also enter the environment when companies make products with PFAS, releasing it directly into our water and air.
  • Natural breakdown of PFAS is negligible or sometimes non-existent, allowing PFAS to build up and remain in the environment. This leads to increasing levels of PFAS in the natural resources we use from the environment, like water, food, and soil.

What is MCMA Doing to Manage PFAS?

Source water protection is a top priority for MCMA. The Source Water Protection Program identifies various threats to the MCMA water sources and also identifies the ongoing proactive steps MCMA takes to reduce any type of contamination to the source water. 

MCMA monitors the water produced continuously to meet regulatory requirements. The water is tested daily, monthly, quarterly, annually, tri-annually, and every nine years for approximately 95 chemical and biological substances. 

MCMA PFAS Sampling Results

View MCMA's sampling results for PFAS

EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5), PA DEP Mandatory Quarterly Testing for PFAS

How Hard is My Water?

The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water.

Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium, and by a variety of other metals.

MCMA Water Total Hardness = 23.9 mg/L or 1.4 Grains Per Gallon as Calcium Carbonate

Average Calcium = 7.7 mg/L

Average Magnesium = 1.2 mg/L

The water drop reflects the MCMA calcium carbonate level in the "soft" range.

Source: USGS




The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has selected the Laurel Creek Filtration Plant to receive a prestigious Optimization Program (AWOP) Award.

AWOP is a national filter plant optimization effort among 22 states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) and MCMA. For the 15th consecutive year in Pennsylvania, AWOP will recognize outstanding efforts toward optimizing filter plant turbidity performance with a prestigious AWOP Award. The top performing filter plants that submitted their WebOAS turbidity data will receive the AWOP award this year.

The Laurel Creek Filtration Plant, which provides service to the residents of Mifflin County, will be one of the filter plants receiving this award in 2023 at the annual Water Works Operators Association of Pennsylvania Conference held in State College, PA.