Celebrating a Decade of Source Water Protection

Clean and sustainable drinking water is an essential element of the quality of life for any community.
source water protection

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.

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.

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, andreducing 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.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the main agency responsible for implementing the SDWA, views Pennsylvania’s SWP Program as a leading example for other states to follow.

SWPTAP Highlights

  • 3.9 million Pennsylvanians are served by SWPTAP Plans
  • SSM has worked with over 300 community water systems
  • Protecting source water has direct ties to the helping regulated MS4 stormwater communities
  • Grassroots efforts are developing by partners such as County Planning Commissions, County Conservation Districts and watershed organizations throughout the Commonwealth