Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania - Nonpoint Source Success Story
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- Restoration and Management Plan
- Partnerships and Coordination
- Contact Information
Located just northwest of Wilkes-Barre, Harveys Lake Watershed spans 3,629 acres in Luzerne County. The lake is th4 largest natural lake in Pennsylvania. The outflow of Harveys Lake forms Harveys Creek, which eventually discharges into the Susquehanna River at West Nanticoke. A number of studies and research conducted throughout the past fifty years have documented periodic algal blooms in Harveys Lake, the result of elevated nutrient levels, most notably in phosphorus, the primary nutrient limiting aquatic plant growth in the lake. Through a coordinated watershed approach, the community has already implemented controls that have reduced phosphorus loadings by 29%.
Concerns over the water quality of the watershed prompted the Phase I Clean Lakes Diagnostic/Feasibility Study, conducted in 1993-94 with funding from EPA's Clean Lakes Program. In 2003, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analysis conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) quantified the need for a 230 pound per year phosphorus reduction load.
One of the goals of the Phase I study was to develop a Restoration and Management Plan to identify a series of cost-effective in-lake and watershed-based techniques to improve the water quality of Harveys Lake. In 1996, the lake was also included on the state list of impaired waters, the 303(d) list, for nutrient and suspended solid impairments.
In order to initiate a long-term Restoration and Management for Harveys Lake, the Borough of Harveys Lake and the Harveys Lake Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) were awarded a number of nonpoint source grants by the DEP with funding obtained through the EPA through several NPS program Section 319 Clean Water Act grants.
The implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) have proven successful in a number of areas including: the completion of two streambank/shoreline stabilization projects, the removal of a 400 cubic yard gravel bar, the development and distribution of four educational brochures on nonpoint source pollution, the development of a GIS database on the Harveys Lake Watershed, and two years of in-lake and storm water quality monitoring.
In addition, funds were used to assist in the completion of an innovative project located in the Hemlock Gardens section of the watershed. This project involved the installation of a chamberbox BMP with litter collector to reduce the total phosphorus and total suspended solids loads that enter the lake from this particular section of the watershed.
As a result of implementing the two stabilization projects and the chamberbox BMP at Hemlock Gardens, an average of 66 pounds of phosphorus have been removed each year. The current measured reductions account for approximately 29% of the target set by the 2003 TMDL. To date, the EPA, through 319 funding has spent $259, 855 on the restoration of Harveys Lake and the shoreline BMP retrofits. With matching funds the total money spent was $362, 365.
Future BMPs are planned to further reduce phosphorus loadings to the lake. The Borough of Harveys Lake and the Harveys Lake EAC are pleased with the progress that has been made in the watershed and look forward to future improvements to achieve the water quality goals.
Mid-Atlantic Nonpoint Source Pollution Initiative
EPA Region 3
Philadelphia, PA 19103
For more information on nonpoint source pollution, TMDLs and restoration practices, please check out EPA's Region 3 Nonpoint Source Program web page.
- Harveys Lake Environmental Advisory Council
- Borough of Harveys Lake
- Pennsylvania Lakes Management society
- Luzerne County Conservation District
- Harveys Lake Management Association
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3
- Princeton Hydro, LLC
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Barbara Lathrop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
400 Market Street
PO Box 8555
Harrisburg, PA 17555