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Publications

PDF, 1.9 MB

Pennsylvania's ponds and lakes support a diverse array of aquatic plant life. This full-color publication was designed to aid you in identifying and managing the most commonly occurring aquatic plants throughout the Commonwealth.

PDF, 2.2 MB

A Manual for Rural Homeowners on the Proper Construction and Maintenance of Private Wells, Springs, and Cisterns. Rural homeowners often face challenges in managing their water supply because, unlike public water supplies, managing private water systems is entirely the homeowner's responsibility. This manual is intended as a guide for private water system owners in Pennsylvania. From proper location and construction to recommended testing and treatment strategies, it will help you make educated decisions about your water supply.

Water quality credit trading is a tool for reducing the cost of meeting the environmental goal of controlling nutrients and sediments that severely impact streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Some states in the Mid-Atlantic have begun to encourage trading through legislation and rulemaking. This publication provides a brief overview of water quality credit training, as well as an example and contact information.

Groundwater is an important source of water for households, businesses, industries, and farms across Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, human overuse and contamination is increasingly threatening groundwater. This information will help you understand where groundwater comes from, how it is used, and how the future use of groundwater in Pennsylvania is at risk.

Spring Creek running through downtown Bellefonte, PA

This article provides an overview of water rights for citizens, farmers, rural business owners, and elected and appointed officials. It introduces the legal background, terms, and issues about water rights. The discussion is introductory and does not provide legal advice regarding water rights conflicts, nor is it a substitute for advice from a qualified lawyer.

There are many water conservation methods that require little effort to incorporate, but produce significant results.

PDF, 1.2 MB

Aquatic plants are a valuable part of any pond ecosystem providing food and shelter for fish and wildlife. However, overabundant aquatic plant and algae growth can ruin the aesthetic appeal of a pond and cause damage to the pond environment. This publication will help pond and lake owners understand the benefits of aquatic plants, how to identify them, what causes them to grow, and various strategies to control unwanted plant and algae growth.

Aquatic plants occur to some degree in all ponds, but more than half of pond owners surveyed in Pennsylvania felt that their ponds had too much aquatic plant growth. As a result, many pond owners seek methods to control the unwanted growth of aquatic plants. If not done carefully, some of these methods can have disastrous and unintended results for the pond or other nearby water resources. The purpose of this DVD is to highlight the benefits of aquatic plants and algae along with suitable strategies to control excessive growth when it occurs.

Fish ponds provide can aesthetic beauty, wildlife habitat, fishing, swimming, as well as water for livestock, irrigation, or fire protection.

Are you building a new pond on your property? Do you already have a pond that you use for swimming, irrigation, fishing, or other activities?

Phosphorus is an essential element for plant and animal growth, but too much of it can accelerate the natural aging of lakes and streams. This publication covers essential scientific information about phosphorus and how it behaves in soil, current concerns about phosphorus runoff from agriculture, and how farms can manage this nutrient.

More than three million rural Pennsylvanians rely on a private well, spring, or cistern for their water supply. Proper management of these water supplies, including proper location, construction, testing, and treatment, is the voluntary responsibility of the homeowner. This video DVD illustrates how to properly manage a well, spring, or cistern to ensure a safe and adequate drinking water supply.

PDF, 2.4 MB

Today, many people realize the value of wetlands and are coming together to restore some lost wetland acreage. This manual for landowners describes where wetland restoration is possible and how it is done. This publication covers the basic wetland concepts, ecological concepts and terms, wetland restoration, general management and maintenance, managing for wildlife, and troubleshooting.

PDF, 743.5 kB

Acid rain and acid mine drainage have polluted thousands of miles of Pennsylvania streams with acid water. This publication explains the chemistry of streams, treatment objections and guidelines, and passive treatment methods.

This map shows the names and locations of all streams, rivers, and lakes in the state that flow throughout the year. (Only folded maps are available.)

Riparian buffers protect our water, soil, and ecosystems.

This article explains the benefits of using riparian buffers--vegetated areas next to streams, wetlands, ponds, rivers, and lakes--to protect the health of waterways, livestock, adjacent crops or property, and all who drink and use water downstream.

Interstate conflict over water resources is growing in the Mid-Atlantic region. As population increases and industries and energy sources shift, water becomes in greater demand. This article was written to give readers an understanding of river basin commissions and other regional water management institutions, their powers, and stakeholders; basinwide water management issues; and how stakeholders can more effectively participate in these bodies' decisions. Highlighted are five emerging water management concerns: (1) out-of-basin diversions and population growth, (2) shale gas extraction, (3) climate change, (4) aquatic invasive species, and (5) improving water quality in Chesapeake Bay.

PDF, 7.7 MB

Roadside dumps are a form of illegal dumping wherein wastes are disposed of in an unauthorized area, typically quiet areas that afford easy access by vehicles. This publication addresses the complex issue of water quality as it is affected by solid wastes that have been mismanaged. Topics include how to evaluate and characterize roadside dumps, water testing, ways to identify if a dump might be adversely affecting a local watershed or drinking water supply, and how to determine ownership and cleanup procedures.

PDF, 949.5 kB

This full-color publication--intended for water utility personnel, planners, staff of environmental and community organizations, and individuals concerned with making our nation's water systems more efficient--discusses water conservation strategies, identifies water conservation resources, and relates practical advice on beginning a conservation program based on research and experiences from across the country.

PDF, 360.5 kB

This booklet explains how and why to test water for chemicals, bacteria, and other pollutants. Topics include reasons to test your water, using a certified laboratory, the typical water test report, drinking water standards, and descriptions of common pollutants.

A girl stands on an overlook at the edge of a wetland.

This article, which is part of a series, is intended to teach third- and fourth-grade students about watersheds and wetlands.