The Ambler Spring Water Company was founded by Dr. Richard Mattison in the late 1890’s. Ambler Borough Council purchased the Ambler Spring Water Company in 1937 and, upon approval of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and with a designated franchise area, the Ambler Borough Water Department was created. This purchase also included the Upper Dublin Water system. In 1939 the 1 million gallon Loch Alsh standpipe was placed in service. It was during World War II that the first of the nine operating deep wells were constructed. The certified franchise territory has been expanded several times and now comprises approximately 6.5 square miles, including Ambler Borough and portions of Lower Gwynedd, Upper Dublin, Whitemarsh, and Whitpain Townships. There are approximately 20,000 persons served by the Ambler Borough Water Department.
There are nine operating deep wells and one surface water supply facility in the Ambler Water distribution system. The average water demand from 2006-2010 was 1,627,365 gallons per day, or approximately 1,131 gallons per minute (gpm). The average daily production capacity of the system is approximately 1,950 gpm, given normal precipitation. The distribution system consists of approximately 70 miles of water main and comprises 5,700 connections as well as fire hydrants. The entire water system is monitored daily by computer to ensure adequate supply for the water franchise, with a particular priority being adequate water supply for fire emergencies. Three storage facilities serve the system: Broad Axe Standpipe (2 million gallon capacity), Houston Road Elevated Tank (1 million gallon capacity) and Loch Alsh Standpipe (750,000 gallon capacity).
Loch Alsh Reservoir Dam acts as a recharge facility to the underlying groundwater aquifer. The dam’s water level is measured weekly. Production of the wells varies with the water level of the lake. Loch Alsh Reservoir Dam is subject to annual inspections by the PA DEP Division of Dam Safety. The facility is classed as a high hazard dam due to population density surrounding the dam. The Water Department maintains a current Emergency Action Plan which is available at Ambler Borough Hall for public review.
Since 1995 the borough has annually contracted for leak detection for the entire system. This detection and correction program leads to early detection, less costly correction and reduce unaccounted for water losses. Conservation will assure that the underground water supplies are not wasted nor depleted.