"Everyone deserves clean water."
Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence | Wellhead Protection Program, Telford Area, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, PA
In the early 1990’s, SSM’s water resources group worked with Telford Borough Authority to develop a Wellhead Protection Program. This program was one of the first group of three projects to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being in full compliance with Pennsylvania Wellhead Protection Program requirements. The program received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for a Regional Wellhead Protection Program in Berks County. The program was honored at a public recognition ceremony by both agencies on June 16, 1999.
SSM assisted with creating the steering committee, making public presentations, technical input, and program management. Telford Borough Authority was designated as a Groundwater Guardian Community. The Authority was awarded a Growing Greener Grant to further develop their wellhead protection program. The refinements include a water-level and water quality network. A series of water-level data loggers were installed and as an early warning system for drought management. A wellhead protection GIS tool was also developed to track and manage data associated with the groundwater protection zones.
Celebrating a Decade of Source Water Protection
SSM is celebrating 10 years of working in conjunction with DEP and Community Water Systems to protect drinking water through the SWPTAP. Recently the DEP renewed the program and awarded SSM a SWPTAP 5-year contract extension.
The Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program (SWPTAP) was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help community water systems protect their drinking water. SWPTAP is a voluntary program designed to keep drinking water sources clean by eliminating harmful contaminants from the source water. For the community water provider, SWPTAP has economic benefits such as reducing water treatment costs, and reducing the burden of engineering controls to keep drinking water clean. The Program also provides environmental benefits such as clean water for sustaining native ecosystems.
The Source Water Protection Program was initiated in 1996 through federal law emanating from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). While the initial SDWA focused on water quality at the tap, protecting drinking water sources provides another important layer of protection. Source water protection plans are custom-tailored to accommodate water providers that serve large cities, and also to small systems that serve less than 50 people.