Source water protection is an ongoing and evolving program to understand and address risks to drinking water supplies. In Pennsylvania, source water protection programs are typically community-based voluntary efforts that involve planning and implementation of various management strategies.

Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program (SWPTAP)

The basic foundation for source water protection was established on a national level through the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments passed in 1986 and 1996. These amendments created wellhead protection and source water assessment programs and left responsibility for implementing these programs with each state.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted an initial round of assessments in the early 2000s, and has since established a Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program (SWPTAP) to help communities develop voluntary plans that include six key elements:

  • Local steering committee and public participation;
  • Source water protection area delineation;
  • Contaminant source inventory;
  • Management methods and commitment;
  • Contingency planning; and
  • Protection of identified new source sites.

For more information about SWPTAP, click here.

Our Planning Approach

At Pennsylvania American Water, we have worked closely with DEP and our local communities through SWPTAP to develop and implement approved source water protection plans for many of our water supplies.

Stakeholder involvement is an important part of the program. The nature and degree of involvement varies by task and stakeholder group. A few examples include:

  • Participation in steering committee meetings;
  • Agency coordination on contaminant sources and contingency planning;
  • Community feedback and support for strategies to address source water issues.

For more information about how you can get involved in your area, contact us here