Water Quality

Water is Life

Certainly you've heard the phrase "Water is Life". This is not just a slogan many of us heard during and since the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016.

"Water is Life" is a shorthand, reminding us that all life on Earth needs clean water. However, even in Southeastern PA, on the unceded lands of the Lenni-Lenape, our waterways are in trouble. Surprised? 

Local issues

We have a finite amount of water in our streams and rivers. Our local governments filter it and deliver to our taps. It's up to us to use water in moderation (water conservation), and to reduce our personal pollution (awareness of what we flush down the toilet as well as storm drains. Of particular concern is salt and plastics in our water.

- Pollution in the air returns to us in our water, via rain and snow. Examples are smokestacks from power plants, factories and  incinerators that burn our trash. [Locally, there is the Elcon Hazardous Waste Incinerator, in which citizens had a victory of sorts]. There are also the Covanta waste incinerators in Chester and Conshohocken, which are current frontlines. More about that here

- Pollution in our water never really goes away. We need to cut it out, and simultaneously learn to clean up our mess. Locally, there is the PFOA contamination in the Warminster area. 


Here's what each of us can do


Here's what we have done

On May 9, 2020, Sierra Club, PennEnvironment and Conservation Voters of PA hosted an excellent discussion about the connections between clean air, clean water and clean energy for Chester County. It was titled Clean & Healthy Water & Air in Chester County, with area experts:

  • Dr. Scott Ensign of Stroud Water Research Center
  • Dave McKeon of Lester Water
  • Jesse Lytle, the Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Haverford College

The discussion was recorded, and you can watch the recorded sections:

clean air water