Source Water Protection

By | September 17, 2015

The place where your drinking water comes from is called its source. Capital Region Water’s primary source water supply is the DeHart Reservoir. The Susquehanna River serves as a backup source.

Every one of us has a role in protecting source water and preventing pollution in our rivers, streams, and reservoirs. Capital Region Water is committed to protecting and enhancing the quality of both the DeHart Reservoir and Susquehanna River under a Source Water Protection Plan. With the help of volunteers, a voluntary Source Water Protection Plan and Program was approved by the PA Department of Environmental Protection in October 2015.

What happens on the land surrounding the DeHart Reservoir can impact the quality of your drinking water. Fortunately, Capital Region Water owns and manages about 7,500 acres of forestland surrounding the Reservoir. The entire 8,200 acre property is managed and maintained to protect source water quality. We want to keep it that way.

Capital Region Water has made watershed protection and sustainable forest management an overarching goal. In December 2016, a Forest Management Plan for the DeHart Property was approved. This plan guides the management activities on the Property to preserve/enhance high quality drinking water. To support this commitment, Capital Region Water partners with a consulting forester and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). As a result, the Property will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified as part of TNC’s group certificate. FSC certification means that environmental, social, and economic standards have been considered and met. FSC is largely considered the preeminent standard for sustainable forest management.
The Forest Management Plan is periodically reviewed and updated as management strategies evolve. In addition to our consulting forester and TNC, the Source Water Protection Team also provides review and insight in to annual forest management activities.

A Historic Happening for Clean Water

In 2016, Capital Region Water entered into a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization, and nearby Fort Indiantown Gap to see that the property is protected for years to come. Learn more.

How can I help?

  • Don’t litter. Anything that falls in the watershed could end up in our drinking water.
  • Pick up trash. If you see litter, pick it up. If you see trash near DeHart Reservoir, report it by calling 888-510-0606.
  • Maintain your septic system if you live in a rural area.
  • Report vehicle spills by calling 911.

Join the Source Water Protection Team.

If you have the interest and energy to volunteer, we invite you to join Capital Region Water’s Source Water Collaborative. It’s a team of citizens, residents, and stakeholders that meets biannually to advise Capital Region Water in its source water protection initiatives and outreach. To date, the Collaborative has helped to inform both Capital Region Water’s source water protection and forest management plans and programs.

We’re always looking for additional volunteers. If you’re interested, let us know and we can tell you more. The next meeting will be October 25, 2017.

How can I learn more?

This video and brochure has been partially funded by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund under a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for Drinking Water Source Water Protection administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.