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Source Water Protection Introduction

What is Sourcewater?

Sourcewater includes water used to supply public drinking water and private wells and springs for human consumpton.  Examples include water from underground aquifers, springs, lakes, rivers, or streams.  Before traveling to the tap, water typically needs some level of treatment.  This can become expensive for water suppliers and their communities.  Sourcewater protection goes beyond treatment to ensure safe drinking water begins at the water source itself.  It considers a preventative and comprehensive approach, taking into account quality and quantity of untreated water and thus ensuring the protection of environmental and community resources in addition to public health and safety.

Protecting Sourcewater

Planning to protect drinking water sources helps communities reduce contamination and overexploitation.  Many contaminants prove difficult and costly, or impossible, to treat.  As a finite resource, when we run out of clean fresh water, we will no longer have access for human consumption, making it vital to protect and conserve as a resource.  The basis of this type of planning seeks to provide an adequate supply of clean water for generations to come.

Source Water Protection Website information for State College Borough Water Authority

The State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) is a public water supplier that has the critical role of sustainably managing the region’s water resources in order to provide high quality drinking water to its customers. This source water protection plan is an important component to steward the region’s water resources by providing a framework of short- and long-term initiatives to utilize wise water resource management practices, coordinate with municipal officials, engage with stakeholders, and educate the public. The SCBWA’s Source Water Protection Program consists of both a Wellhead Protection Program for SCBWA Wellfields 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7, and a Watershed Protection Program for Wellfields 1 and 3 and the Shingletown Reservoir. The objectives of these programs are to:

• Characterize the contributing (recharge) area of each source,

• Identify potential sources of contamination,

• Utilize best land use and water resource management practices within recharge areas to minimize the potential for adverse water quality impacts,

• Design contingency plans for potential pollution events and emergency response,

• Educate the public on the importance of source water protection, and

• Comply with PaDEP Source Water Assessment and Protection requirements contained in the Chapter 109 regulations.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Area

Map of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed