Township receives Source Water Protection Award

South Middleton Township is the proud recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Source Water Protection Award for Region III. This annual award is bestowed upon a utility or municipality that exemplifies good stewardship of a region's natural water resources and drinking water supplies through the implementation of innovative source water protection programs. South Middleton Township was nominated by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). An award ceremony was held on September 25 at 1:00 PM at the Township building located at 520 Park Drive, Boiling Springs. Ceremony participants included: Tom Faley, Chairman, South Middleton Board of Supervisors, Terry Rickert & Mary Lehman, former South Middleton Township Supervisors, Brian O’Neill, South Middleton Township Engineer, Kathleen McGinty, Secretary, PA Department of the Environment, Dana Aunkst, PADEP Source Water Protection, Don Welsh, EPA Regional Administrator.

As noted by former Supervisor Terry Rickert, “It was important for South Middleton Township to purchase and protect the land around the public well sites as much as possible. When faced with the possibility of a development of 200+ homes surrounding this well, the Board felt it was necessary to purchase the property to control the land around the well, preserve open space, provide suitable recreational opportunities for our residents and above all, protect the quality and quantity of water from this source.”

Terry Rickert, Supervisor, 1992-1997.

Current Supervisor Duff Manweiler stated, “Under Terry’s direction, the Board embraced the concept of wellhead protection to protect this precious resource. South Middleton Township officials continue those efforts to this day, and, hopefully, will continue this idea/goal in the future. This is a legacy we need to leave to future generations.”

Duff Manweiler, Supervisor, 1992-present.

The award recognizes the novel approach work that South Middleton Township is taking in protecting its groundwater resources. The high point of that approach is the Township’s purchase of the Spring Meadows Park, a 90-acre park that surrounds one of the three municipal wells in the Township. The park site was chosen to assure that the Wellhead Protection Area around the wellhead would not be developed. Other efforts made by the Township to protect the groundwater and educate the public include a Wellhead Protection Ordinance, a Well Driller’s Ordinance, League of Women Voter’s WREN grants for Source Water Protection, DEP Source Water Protection grant for revisions to the Wellhead Protection Ordinance, DEP and Township public outreach campaigns, and various ordinances aimed at development requirements. Through its efforts to safeguard a valuable resource, South Middleton Township hopes to encourage other communities to take the same initiatives to protect and manage their sources of drinking water supplies.

EPA region III includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC. South Middleton Township is the sole recipient for Pennsylvania in 2003.

Below are a few pictures from the award ceremony. Click on the photo for a larger version.