Newsletter of the Water Resources Education Network
In this Issue
Twenty Six Wren Projects Funded
Project Leaders Gather
"Opportunity Grants" Available
Watershed Specialists Join District
Groundwater: A Primer for Pensylvanians Available
EPA Approves Pennsylvania's Source Water Assessment
and Protection Program around the State
Home-A-Syst is Coming to PA
New On-Lot Technology Approved
The newsletter also includes new resources
and calendar entries.
Six WREN Projects Funded
Communities across the state will benefit from WREN funding in the
coming year as a variety of local coalitions undertake education projects
aimed at improving and protecting their watersheds and drinking water
sources. The grants awarded by WREN totaled $64,000, with funding
coming to WREN from the Department of Environmental Protection's Source
Water Protection and Watersheds (Nonpoint Source Pollution) programs.
Some of the community activities planned include: erecting signs to
identify a water supply reservoir, training teachers and volunteers
on the use of a groundwater flow model, a traveling educational display,
streambank restoration and educational programming, start up of watershed
associations, and development of a watershed curriculum. For a complete
listing of projects receiving funding call the WREN Resource Center,
Continuing the WREN tradition of networking and meeting to sharing
experiences, representatives of the 26 newly funded projects and the
19 projects that are completing their work will gather at the Allenberry
Resort in Boiling Springs on June 15 and 16 to learn about available
resources and get tips for continuing their community work. Keynote
speaker will be Bob Kuzelka mentor of the Groundwater Guardian program,
from the Groundwater Foundation. Barry Tonning, an expert on "getting
your message out," is also a featured speaker and representatives
of a variety of public and private agencies will speak on resources
available for community groups.
WREN has a limited amount of funding available for small grants ($100-$250)
for "great, last minute ideas." The activities funded must
meet the WREN grant criteria of being educational and must relate
to drinking water source protection or watershed education. There
is no timeline for applying for these grants, however projects must
be completed by September 30, 2001. Send your request to WREN, 226
Forster St., Harrisburg, PA 17102.
Specialists Join District
Growing Greener is funding "watershed specialists" in county
conservation districts across the state. Starting June 1, 45 new positions
will be available to help foster and support local watershed groups,
educational activities and watershed restoration and protection projects.
Many districts have already hired new staff, or designated present
staff members to take over the new job. Ten of the watershed specialists
will serve multi-county areas in specific watersheds, the other 35
will serve the watersheds within their specific counties.
The watershed specialists will receive training at a week-long Watershed
Academy, planned for July 24-28. Watershed groups are encouraged to
contact their Conservation Districts to meet their specialists and
suggest areas in which support is needed.
Groundwater: A Primer for Pensylvanians.Fourth printing,
newly revised and updated. Call the WREN Resource Center, 1-800-692-7281,
to order copies for your public events or order
Approves Pennsylvania's Source Water Assessment and Protection Program
around the State
EPA has approved Pennsylvania's Source Water Assessment
and Protection Program (SWAPP) plan. The plan, submitted by DEP, describes
how sources of drinking water will be delineated, how potential sources
of contamination will be evaluated to determine their potential impact
on the drinking water supply, and how the results of each assessment
will be provided in a comprehensive form to the public.
"Not only does the SWAPP plan describe the methods DEP will
implement to assess sources of drinking water across the Commonwealth,
but it also expresses the department's commitment to a continuing
effort to engage the public," EPA Regional Administrator Bradley
Campbell stated in his letter approving the program. "The series
of regional workshops, Tap Into Watersheds, was an exemplary effort
of providing a forum for the public to express their ideas for how
this assessment program could address the public's need for information
on the potential contamination of their drinking water sources."
Campbell added that DEP has designed an assessment process that
will encourage continued public participation. This is a means of
securing a local sense of ownership of the community water system
assessments. EPA believes the assessments will increase the public's
awareness of how land use activities directly influence the quality
of their drinking water and will encourage local communities to protect
their valuable and vulnerable resources.
For more information, contact Joe Lee at 717-772-4018 or e-mail
For More Information on PA.'s Source Water Assessment and Protection
Program call the WREN Resource Center, 1-800-692-7281 and request
a copy of "Protecting Drinking Water Sources."
Washington County Watershed Alliance was recently featured
in the Aquifer, the newsletter of the Groundwater Foundation, for
their extensive water resources educational activities. The Alliance
grew out of the Washington County Groundwater Coalition to support
watershed associations throughout the County. The Alliance has published
brochures, sponsored workshops, sponsored mall displays, provided
residential water screening and helped in grant-writing and financial
management for watershed associations.
The Jefferson County Water Resources Network has educated teachers,
students and community volunteers in the Brookville, Brockway and
Punxsutawney school districts and the Jefferson County Vocational
School. Each school district formed a WREN team to assist with student
projects. Sixth, seventh and eight grade science classes have learned
about stream restoration techniques and water quality monitoring.
Creek Connections, at Allegheny College and the Crawford/Venango
Senior Environmental Corps, sponsored two Drinking Water Discovery
Days at which students and seniors together learned about where their
drinking water comes from and what is needed to make it safe. The
groups toured a water treatment plant and participated in a number
of hands-on activities.
Lititz Run Watershed Association, in cooperation with the Warwick
School District and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, is hosting Community
Watershed Awareness Days May 19 and 20. On May 19 all fifth grade
students in the Warwick School District will visit various sites to
learn about their watershed; on May 20 the same sites and others will
offer programs to the general public.
For more news of WREN Project activities, visit the projects
is Coming to Pennsylvania
A spin off from the well received Farm-A--Syst program, Home-A-Syst
helps homeowners identify potential sources of water contamination
in and around their homes. Penn State Cooperative Extension Agents
have been trained in the program and regional workshops for DEP employees
and other groups will be held. For more information on how your group
can be trained to use the program, contact your County Extension Agent.
On-Lot Technology Approved
Alternate and experimental on-lot wastewater treatment systems have
been evaluated in a recent project at Delaware Valley College. As
a result of the studies, standards have been developed for a drip
irrigation system using a peat filter or aerobic treatment processes.
The new standards allow use of peat filters on lots which would require
use of sand mounds and, potentially, on lots with very shallow soils.
The Delaware Valley College studies are anticipated to expand on technologies
that can be used to effectively treat wastewater and repair malfunctioning
systems in areas with poor soils. Additional studies are planned.
For more information see the DEP website (directLINK "drip system")
or call Karen Finches at 717-787-8184.
This newsletter is a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Citizen Education Fund - WREN. Funded by a grant from the PA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Top of Page