Pharmaceuticals and Drinking Water

The best, most cost effective way to ensure high quality water at the tap is to keep our source waters clean. That’s why we are active in source water protection to prevent pollutants, including pharmaceutical products, from entering our water supplies.




REMEMBER: Do NOT flush medications down the toilet, where they could eventually end up in our waterways!


Take advantage of community drop-off programs where you can bring unused or expired medicine to a central location for proper disposal, or visit a pharma drop box. You can search this statewide listing to find a drop box near you.

Pennsylvania American Water sponsors the following drop box locations for residents to safely dispose of unwanted drugs for free, no questions asked. Some are even available 24/7.

Allegheny

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
830 East Warrington Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
312 South Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Pleasant Hills Police Dept.
410 East Bruceton Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-4500

Bridgeville Borough Police Dept.
425 Bower Hill Road
Bridgeville, PA 15017

Scott Township Police Dept.
301 Lindsay Road
Carnegie, PA 15106

Clearfield

Decatur Township Police Dept.
575 Fairview Road
Osceola Mills, PA 16666

Cumberland

Messiah College Department of Safety
1 College Avenue, Suite 3026
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Fayette

Uniontown Police Dept.
45 East Penn Street
Uniontown, PA 15401

Jefferson

Punxsutawney Borough Police Dept.
301 East Mahoning Street
Punxsutawney, PA 15767

Luzerne

Luzerne County District Attorney's Office
200 North River Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711

McKean

Kane Borough Police Dept.
112 Bayard Street
Kane, PA 16735

Montgomery

East Norriton Police Dept.
2501 Stanbridge Street
East Norriton, PA 19401

West Norriton Police Dept.
1630 W. Marshall Street
Norristown, PA 19403

Royersford Borough Police Dept.
300 Main Street
Royersford, PA 19468

Montgomery County Detectives
1 Montgomery Plaza, Suite 502
Norristown, PA 19401

Northampton

Nazareth Borough Police Dept.
134 S. Main Street
Nazareth, PA 18064

Schuylkill

Frackville Police Dept.
42 S. Center Street
Frackville, PA 17931

If no collection program or drop box is available

Follow these tips to dispose of unused medications:

1. Take unused or expired medication out of their original containers.

2. Mix medication with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, cat litter or vegetable oil.

3. Put the mixture in a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty milk carton, margarine tub or sealable bag.

4. Conceal personal information on the drug container, including Rx number, using a black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.

5. Place the sealed container with the mixture and the empty drug containers in the trash.


Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is determining whether to regulate pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Although EPA has not set treatment standards, research has shown that the treatment processes used at many Pennsylvania American Water treatment plants has been effective in removing many of these compounds. In addition, our parent company American Water has actively participated in national research studies to better understand the occurrence, treatment and health effects of trace levels of pharmaceuticals in water.

Visit these online resources for more information: