Read Articles and News about Source Water Protection Coalitions in Pennsylvania

Read WREN Feature Profiles about Pennsylvania water systems and communities taking source water protection action:

September 2014 Feature (link to PDF)

Vanport Township: A Small System with a Tall Order to Preserve Clean Water By Lynda Ginsparg

Two major issues loomed large in this small township alongside the Ohio River in Beaver County, PA, prompting local officials to take action before threats to drinking water could do more harm.  Vanport Township Municipal Authority and local township officials worked alongside PA DEP to implement a Source Water Protection Plan designed to help the community protect its wells and safe reliable drinking water.We continue our series of profiles on small water systems and why they took action to implement a source water protection plan for their community.

August 2014 Feature (link to PDF)

SMALL WATER SYSTEMS - Quarryville Borough (Lancaster County) Sees Value in Reviving Dormant Source Water Protection Plan By Lynda Ginsparg

Mention Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and thoughts turn to picturesque farmland, Amish-made quilts, good old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch food…and geothermal wells. This progressive energy source is what drove one official in Quarryville Borough to push for passage of a source water protection plan (SWP) that had laid dormant for years. In this edition of Water Policy News, we continue the third in our series of periodic profiles of small water systems and why they took action to implement a source water protection plan to ensure safe, reliable drinking water for their community. This month we share the story of Quarryville Borough, Lancaster County, PA.

June 2014 Feature (link to PDF)

SMALL WATER SYSTEMS – Biglerville – Tackling Threats to Clean Water in Adams County By Lynda Ginsparg

In rural areas and smaller towns across Pennsylvania, municipal officials and public service employees may need to wear multiple hats, jumping in to handle problems or emergencies where needed. Small water systems often face obstacles that larger water systems can handle more easily, due to location, greater resources or past experiences. In this edition of Water Policy News, we continue a periodic profile of small water systems and what drove their interest in source water protection.  This month we share the story of the Biglerville Water Company, Adams County, PA.

April 2014 Feature (Link to PDF)

SMALL WATER SYSTEMS – THE UNSUNG HEROES OF SOURCE WATER PROTECTION  First in a Series: Keeping It Clean and Partnering for Early Detection By Lynda Ginsparg

In rural areas and smaller towns and hamlets across Pennsylvania, it is often one or two people who are the operators of their systems. They are the unsung heroes – the caretakers of water essential for their customers. Many have realized that taking charge of their water system right from the source is the only way to ensure safe drinking water. We begin a periodic profile of operators at small water systems whose diligence and hard work make the difference in providing their customers with reliable drinking water every day. This month we share the story of Randy Gradizzi, at Toby Water in Fox Township, Elk County. Partnering with small water operators like Toby Water throughout Elk County is the Elk County Conservation District, which has installed a state of the art water monitoring system – dubbed the Satellite Telemetry System, or STS – to serve as an extra level of protection for water systems.

March 2014 (link to PDF)

Water and Sewer Groups Come Together for the Same Goal: Clean Water for Berks County By Linda Ginsparg

After years of study and planning, The Berks County Water and Sewer Association became a reality last year, consisting of more than 80 member groups and individuals.  With the help of a $7,000  WREN Source Water Protection Collaborative Grant awarded in 2013, the group committed to work across municipal borders and kicked off an ambitious public education program to reach Berks municipal officials, residents and emergency responders with the clean water message.



Warwick Township & Lititz Borough, Lancaster County, Pa. receive EPA Awards for Efforts to Protect Drinking Water
December 19, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored two Lancaster County, Pa. communities for protecting sources of drinking water used by more than 20,000 people. The Source Water Protection Award recognizes organizations and communities that take extraordinary steps to protect drinking water sources in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. Warwick and Lititz are the first Source Water Protection Award winners in Pennsylvania since 2009.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin presented the agency’s 2012 regional Source Water Protection Award to the Warwick Township Municipal Authority and the Borough of Lititz at a ceremony at the Warwick Municipal Office. “Protecting the sources of our drinking water benefits public health, our environment and our economic well-being as well as our quality of life,” said Garvin. “Warwick and Lititz have shown the way for more than a decade of working with farmers and others in taking responsible steps protecting drinking water supplies.”

Warwick and Lititz were recognized for their joint Wellhead Protection Program to protect groundwater sources from contamination. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) nominated the communities for the award. “DEP is proud to nominate Warwick Township and Lititz Borough for their approach of working with local farmers,” DEP South-central Regional Director Lynn Langer said. “They have set the bar high for protecting drinking water, and hopefully other communities will follow their example.”

“We know that in order to protect our sensitive water supply we need to use many different approaches,” said Dan Zimmerman, Warwick Township Manager.
The communities created a steering committee of local stakeholders to guide their steps, supported state-of-the-art farming techniques and plans, sponsored public education activities, completed watershed improvement projects and developed protective land use planning strategies and emergency water supply plans.

These steps are designed to deal with high levels of nutrient pollution in the heavily agricultural area. More than 30% of the public water systems in Lancaster County have nitrate removal systems installed to assure that water provided to customers meets health-based standards. The communities reported a steady decline in raw water nitrate concentrations for their drinking water sources, reducing treatment requirements and expenses.

The upgrade of the Lititz Sewer Authority’s wastewater treatment plant is helping to protect local waters and the Chesapeake Bay by significantly reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to Lititz Run. The plant’s technology is also producing dried biosolids that are being used by local farmers as a slow release fertilizer as part of their nutrient management program.


Monitoring the Susquehanna: Early Warning System Improves Decision Making, Protects Public Health

Susquehanna River BasinAs part of its ongoing comittment to managing the water resources of the Susquehanna River’s 27,510 square mile drainage area, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has established a series of remote monitoring stations throughout the watershed  to provide a real-time assessment of water quality.

This early warning system continuously records key parameters so managers can detect shifts in conditions caused by pollution and, when neccessary, make immediate decisions to contain spills, adjust treatment levels, or even shutting down intakes if problems occur.
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The South Renovo Borough Water System: Changing the Way We look at Source Water Protection

Because of increased natural gas exploration throughout the Marcellus Shale Fairway, many water systems are developing source water protection plans to help manage the potential threat to the quality and quantity of their drinking water. An example of this potential issue comes from a small water system located in northcentral Pennsylvania. The South Renovo Borough Water System (SRBWS) provides drinking water to approximately 540 people in Clinton County.

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System Focus: The City of DuBois

The City of DuBois, located in Clearfield County, operates a water system serving a population of about 19,000 customers. Though the City’s primary water source is a reservoir permitted for withdrawal of 3.0 million gallons per day, new groundwater wells are under production to supplement the water supply in times of drought. These wells are situated in part of the Marcellus Shale gas development area, and concerns with natural gas drilling have the City proactively protecting these future water sources.

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The Bethlehem Authority’s Historic Conservation Agreement Protects Source Water through “Working Woodlands”

TNC Forest

“Our primary mission is to supply the highest quality drinking water to the 115,000 plus customers of the Bethlehem Water System as we possibly can. Preserving the pristine quality of our watershed properties supports that mission. And the Working Woodlands Program enhances our ability to do just that, and offers a modest revenue source as well.”
–Stephen Repasch, Executive Director of the Bethlehem Authority.   Read More >>


Articles and News about Source Water Protection Coalitions in Pennsylvania


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