Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape spoke today at the 2010 Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania Convention about the importance and challenges of the water infrastructure behind the hydrants that deliver fire protection to their communities. As the convention’s featured speaker, Pape told the fire chiefs, officers and firefighters who gathered in Wilkes-Barre that water treatment plants, storage tanks, pumping stations and water main are all critical factors in providing adequate supply and water pressure to fight fires.
“The water infrastructure needs to be properly maintained and upgraded to make sure there’s a reliable flow of water when you arrive on the scene and connect to the fire hydrant,” said Pape.
Pennsylvania American Water invested approximately $182 million in 2009 for improvements to its water systems, including rehabilitating treatment facilities, upgrading storage tanks and replacing aging pipe. To help maintain its 35,500 fire hydrants and 9,200-mile distribution (pipeline) system, Pape said the company annually inspects and flushes hydrants to ensure that they are operational and to check fire flows.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the utility industry, Pape is a nationally recognized expert on the water and wastewater industries. She also served on Governor Rendell’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force. Prior to rejoining Pennsylvania American Water as president in July 2007, Pape served as senior vice president, treasurer and rate counsel for Aqua America Inc. She previously worked for American Water as regional counsel and manager of finance.
Pennsylvania American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
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