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EPA in Pennsylvania

Helping Residents Protect Water Sources

Stories of Progress in Achieving Healthy Waters

U.S. EPA Region 3 Water Protection Division

Terre Hill, Pennsylvania • January 7, 2016

Building on the successful early engagement of the Plain Sect agricultural community, the Eastern Lancaster County Source Water Protection (ELANCO SWP) Collaborative is expanding its outreach efforts to involve local residents in the important work of protecting vital drinking water sources for the future.

The ELANCO SWP Collaborative, a pilot project of the National Source Water Collaborative Exit, leverages public and private partners to engage the Eastern Lancaster County region in source water protection through targeted education and outreach. With the support of EPA-funded technical assistance and dedicated local champions, the Collaborative launched a Residential Subcommittee in the fall of 2015.

The newly-established subcommittee will focus on targeting ELANCO residents in areas found to have high nitrates in groundwater. Following the success of the already-established Agricultural Subcommittee, the Residential Subcommittee began its outreach and education efforts with a family-friendly inaugural event for ELANCO residents in March 2016.

In early 2013, the ELANCO SWP Collaborative held its inaugural public outreach event, a workshop focused on agricultural best management practices to protect drinking water sources. The well-attended event (over 400 participants) drew mostly Plain Sect farmers from the ELANCO region.

Promoted by local farmer champions, the event kicked off the Collaborative’s momentum in the agricultural community. Capturing this momentum, the Collaborative’s Agricultural Subcommittee continued to engage the farming community through innovative farmer-to-farmer outreach and education throughout 2014 and 2015.

Now, with significant buy-in from the agricultural community, the ELANCO SWP Collaborative is expanding outreach efforts to a residential audience. With technical assistance provided by EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Water Protection Division, the Collaborative worked with the behavior change and marketing firm Salter>Mitchell Exit to strategize ways to engage local ELANCO residents in source water protection.

The inaugural family-friendly workshop in March introduced best management practices to reduce residential stormwater runoff and protect drinking water resources. It was sponsored by the Lancaster Farmland Trust with additional contractor support from EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, and featured programming for adults and children provided by the Lancaster County Conservancy and Penn State Extension.

A map of Pennsylvania highlighting the location of Terre Hill

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  • Helping Residents Protect Water Sources (PDF)(1 pg, 650 K, 01/07/02016)
    Building on the successful early engagement of the Plain Sect agricultural community, the Eastern Lancaster County Source Water Protection (ELANCO SWP) Collaborative is expanding its outreach efforts to involve local residents in the important work of protecting vital drinking water sources for the future.