River talk

Water watch

By SANDY LONG
Posted 1/19/22

Are you water-aware? Do you care about the quality of the water that sustains our lives and nourishes our spirits, while supplying us with a wellspring of wonderful things like beauty, inspiration, …

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River talk

Water watch

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Are you water-aware? Do you care about the quality of the water that sustains our lives and nourishes our spirits, while supplying us with a wellspring of wonderful things like beauty, inspiration, recreation and restoration?

Where I live in Pike County, PA, we are blessed with abundant healthy waterways. According to the recently released report, “2021 Environmental Quality of Pike County Streams,” most of Pike County’s freshwater streams (ranging from small headwaters to large rivers) are classified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as “high-quality” or “exceptional value.”

These priceless waters don’t remain in their pristine state without a level of diligence that often goes unseen.

One of the primary agencies working to protect regional waters is the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD), based in Blooming Grove, PA. The small staff studies, establishes and monitors water-protective practices. The work isn’t flashy and often takes place without fanfare or recognition, but its impacts are highly beneficial to the long-term well-being of our water.

Another timely factor impacting our waterways is the application of salt to regional roadways. When salt is washed away from roadways, it can enter freshwater streams and adversely affect the fish and aquatic insects whose well-being is linked to the health of the waters in which they live.

This winter, the PCCD will participate in the Winter Salt Program, hosted by the Izaak Walton League, to learn more about the effects of salt. Visit https://pikeconservation.org/winter-salt-watch-2022 for more information.

Increased salinity can also affect the quality of our groundwater, which is the primary source of drinking water in Pike County. January is Groundwater Month at PCCD. The agency will provide information and tips on groundwater and its protection through its social media. Follow along on Instagram at pike_conservation and on Facebook at pikeconservation to learn more.

To keep abreast of important environmental issues in Pennsylvania, subscribe to the excellent e-newsletter, PA Environment Digest, (www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter), edited by former DEP secretary David E. Hess, and its companion blog at http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com.

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