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EPA celebrates National Drinking Water Week with awards to schools for protecting Schuylkill River

Release Date: 05/10/2006
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized seven schools in the Schuylkill River Watershed today for developing environmental and educational projects that help to protect sources of drinking water.

Each school was presented a Schuylkill Action Network source water protection award in celebration of National Drinking Water Week.

“These schools have made valuable contributions to protect the Schuylkill River by incorporating environmentally sensitive property management practices and educational programs into their daily operations. This river is an important resource that provides drinking water for 1.5 million people,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Schools receiving awards include:
• Albright College, Reading
• Boyertown High School, Boyertown
• Germantown Friends Lower School, Philadelphia
• Philadelphia University, Landscape Architecture Program, Philadelphia
• Spring Ford Area School District, Collegeville
• Tamaqua Area High School, Tamaqua
• Upper Dublin Environmental Studies Class, Maple Glenn
The awards were presented on behalf of the Schuylkill Action Network, which was formed in 2003 to create a team approach to cleaning up and protecting the Schuylkill River and its tributaries. Members include EPA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Philadelphia Water Department, Delaware River Basin Commission; conservation districts, local, state and federal agencies, watershed organizations and other non-governmental organizations.

The award recipients span the entire watershed from Tamaqua High School (Schuylkill County) located in the headwaters to Germantown Friends School, located in the lower portion of the watershed (Philadelphia County). All the schools implemented source water protection programs such as adopting a local stream, designing educational wetland areas, planting native species on stream banks to prevent erosion, designing stormwater retention basins, and teaching students and members of the community about protecting water quality.

Source water is untreated water from streams, rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers that is used to supply private and public drinking water. The Schuylkill River and its tributaries are an important source of drinking water and fish habitat. For more information on the Schuylkill Action Network including a progress report and summary of accomplishments, visit: .