PFAS/PFOS treatment facility on agenda of Upper Dublin’s zoning hearing board

On the June 27th agenda for Upper Dublin Township’s Zoning Hearing Board is an application from the Borough of Ambler involving its plan to construct a PFAS/PFOS treatment facility at 722-734 Loch Alsh Avenue in the Ambler section of the township. The installation includes a vault, treatment tank, and building containing an area of approximately 1,100 square feet and a height of 32 feet.

Ambler’s water system includes nine operating deep wells and one surface water supply facility (Loch Alsh Reservoir Dam). There are three storage facilities serving the entire system which include Broad Axe Standpipe (two million gallon capacity), Houston Road Elevated Tank (one million gallon capacity), and Loch Alsh Standpipe (750,000-gallon capacity). The system serves approximately 20,000 people including the entire Borough of Amber, and portions of Lower Gwynedd, Upper Dublin, Whitemarsh, and Whitpain Townships.

What are PFAS/PFOS and why is a treatment system necessary? You can a description of what they are and the history of the issue here.

According to the zoning notice, Upper Dublin’s zoning officer issued an opinion that the project would require zoning relief, specifically “a special exception under Zoning Code Section 255-39A.(5) and is an expansion of a nonconforming use under Section 255-147.”

The Borough of Ambler is seeking for the zoning hearing board to overrule the zoning officer and not require zoning relief. However, if the board upholds the zoning officer, it then seeks the special exception which involves allowing a public utility in a residential zoning district. In addition, the borough would seek variances to allow a building to be constructed that is not residential in character and the storage of equipment and vehicles within a residential district.

You can find all the associated documents here (starting on page 27). The meeting will be held on June 27th at 7:00 p.m. at 520 Virginia Drive in Fort Washington.