The best way to safeguard our drinking water is to PREVENT IT FROM GETTING CONTAMINATED IN THE FIRST PLACE by protecting it at its source.

In Pennsylvania, we’re seemingly blessed with an abundance of water, and we tend to take the quality of our drinking water for granted. UNTIL something goes wrong.

Noting that it often takes a disaster to provide a wake up call, Tom McCaffrey, of PA DEP’s Southwest Region, says he has seen increased interest in Sourcewater Protection since a 2008 scare on the Monongahela River.


Tom McCaffrey, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Region from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

In Pennsylvania, Source Water Protection programs are voluntary efforts that help community water systems protect their sources of raw water. Having a program in place provides multiple benefits, including:

  • Public Health Protection – Source water protection planning helps minimize threats to public health through prevention, by keeping harmful contaminants out of the water supply.
  • Reduced Water Treatment Complexity and Cost – Clean water is simpler and  less expensive to treat and reduces system operation and maintenance costs.
  • Economic Benefit – Clean and plentiful water enhances the community’s potential to attract employers and tourism, maintains a healthy economy and improves quality of life for residents.
  • Sustainability – Protecting water resources sustains local ecosystems and assures quality of life for future generations. Costs of protection planning are very low compared with costs of remediation.
  • Source Water Protection programs are typically designed and implemented with input from a broad range of local stakeholders-and though they share common elements, each is tailored to a community water system’s specific circumstances.

    In Pennsylvania, assistance is available through the DEP’s Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program (SWPTAP), which is designed as a suite of services to help water suppliers to develop and establish local SWP programs.


    Understanding THE PROCESS is a good place to start. Go >>



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