As you may know, Mt. Penn B.M.A. uses groundwater wells to provide safe, clean drinking water to its customers.
To protect its drinking water, Mt. Penn B.M.A. is working with the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a source water protection plan. The plan is a voluntary program that will help ensure the quality of the source water for years to come.
MT. PENN BOROUGH MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY SOURCE WATER PROTECTION PROGRAM
“April showers, bring May flowers”. This adage could not have been more true to form for the Mt. Penn Borough Municipal Authority (MPBMA). On April 28, the MPBMA was bestowed with a Certificate of Approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) for the development of its comprehensive vision to employ a wellhead protection program. Implementation of this platform exemplifies a strong commitment to source water protection and providing safe drinking water to its consumers.
MPBMA services a population of 10,400 residents in Mt. Penn Borough, Lower Alsace Township, St. Lawrence Borough, and a small portion of Exeter Township. The MPBMA’s water system consists of seven groundwater wells that are located in Exeter Township. Several MPBMA’s wells are located within the community’s, Carsonia Park.
One of the potential sources of contamination (PSOCs) of MPBMA’s groundwater wells is storm water that drains into the Crystal Lake from Lower Alsace Township and Exeter Township. Crystal Lake is located in Carsonia Park, which eventually evacuates into the Schuylkill River. MPBMA is partnering with Lower Alsace Township and Mt. Penn Borough to educate area residents and customers regarding the importance of source water protection and storm water management. The MPBMA, Lower Alsace Township, and Mt. Penn Borough Source Water Protection committees have partnered with each other to provide EnviroScape® model demonstrations to the public on common issues with storm water runoff and groundwater. One of the biggest advantages of combining public education efforts is the opportunity to receive public education credits for our community’s Source Water and MS4 programs. This partnership will make MPBMA’s Source Water Protection program more effective due to the inclusion of storm water education.
MPBMA, Lower Alsace Township, and Mt. Penn Borough Source Water Protection/MS4 Committee Members staged an EnviroScape® demonstration to the day-campers of Antietam Valley Summer Playground Program.
Additionally, the Mt. Penn Borough Municipal Authority has applied for a PA DEP Growing Greener Grant to assess and improve the water quality of Crystal Lake and its riparian corridor within Carsonia Park and the Antietam Creek watershed. The Recreation Commission of the Antietam Valley (RCAV) has applied for PA DCNR and DCED grants as part of their Carsonia Park Master Plan to make recreational improvements to this community jewel. In March, PA DCNR awarded RCAV $277,700 to begin the revitalization and restoration of the $3.1 million Carsonia Park Master Plan. This redevelopment includes improvements to the water quality of Crystal Lake, by implementation of best management practices (BMPs) for the storm water runoff into the lake’s surface water.
To give water utilities and community members the information they need to decide how to protect their drinking water sources, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that the states develop EPA-approved programs to carry out assessments of all source waters in the state. The source water assessment is a study that defines the land area contributing water to each public water system, identifies the major potential sources of contamination that could affect the drinking water supply, and then determines how susceptible the public water supply is to this potential contamination. Public utilities and citizens can then use the publicly available study results to the take actions to reduce potential sources of contamination and protect drinking water.
The drinking water we receive from our local drinking water utilities or individual wells comes from ground water, streams, rivers, springs or lakes in a watershed. Although most water requires some treatment before use, protecting this source water is an important part of providing safe drinking water to the public.
Protecting drinking water sources usually requires the combined efforts of many partners such as public water systems, communities, resource managers and the public.