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EPA recognizes Shrewsbury Municipal Water Company for protecting drinking water

Release Date: 9/8/2004
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a source water protection award to the Shrewsbury Municipal Water Company in York County, Pa. for taking special initiatives to protect drinking water sources for local residents.

“Protecting the sources of our drinking water safeguards both public health and our environment, and we applaud the Shrewsbury Municipal Water Company for its extraordinary effort,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

EPA selected the Shrewsbury water company as the Pennsylvania recipient of EPA’s source water protection award because of the water company’s wellhead protection efforts and its public education program that emphasizes protection of public groundwater wells.

The groundwater that provides the water supply to the community is a sole source of Shrewsbury Borough’s water supply. Shrewsbury Borough enacted a wellhead protection overlay ordinance in 2002 that manages land use in areas that provide drinking water sources.

The community has created a wellhead protection committee that surveys local businesses and provides educational material to citizens on how to protect drinking water sources. The committee is identifying abandoned private wells so that proper abandonment procedures can be taken to prevent pollution from entering the well and potentially harming drinking water. The community has also stenciled storm drains that lead to local streams and ground water.

EPA’s source water protection awards encourage communities with public drinking water systems to take steps to protect these sources. The award is open to individuals, and public and private organizations throughout EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland.
Recipients have voluntarily gone beyond what the law requires to protect their communities.

In 1996, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to give greater protection to millions of Americans who rely on public drinking water systems. By law, all states must develop source water assessments for every public water supply, but it is up to the local authorities to develop plans and measures to protect drinking water sources from contamination.