(March 25, 2013) Reading Area Water Authority (RAWA) in Berks County, PA recently received notice that it has been selected to receive the 2013 National “Exemplary Source Water Protection Award“ from the American Water Works Association in the large system category (10,001 – 100,000 people served). The award recognizes organizations in North America that have developed and are implementing exemplary source water protection programs.
Reading Area Water Authority serves the City of Reading, PA and relies primarily on surface water from Lake Ontelaunee which was constructed in 1926 and is located about six miles north of the City.
Source water is the untreated “raw” water from streams, rivers, lakes or underground aquifers that is used to provide public drinking water. It is important to protect the integrity of source waters in order to minimize the cost of treatment, as well as to reduce the risks to public health and our ecosystems. Source water protection is a voluntary effort in Pennsylvania, supported by PADEP and partners such as the Water Resources Education Network (WREN), a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund.
According to RAWA’s Executive Director Dean Miller, “RAWA has invested many man hours and resources into this program. We are known throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as having one of the more elite programs…and RAWA is looked upon highly in this regard. This program implements Best Management Practices in our watershed to protect our Source Water and ultimately keep treatment costs down.”
“We at RAWA are VERY proud of this accomplishment and recognition,” continued Mr. Miller, “and hope that this accomplishment shows the dedication that is instilled into the day to day tasks that we do here and shows that efforts are continually being made to keep Reading Area’s water safe!”
RAWA will join other organizations within North America that have been recognized for their outstanding source protection efforts such as:
◾2010 – Boston, Massachusetts
◾2011 – Wilmington, Delaware
◾2012 – Portland, Maine
◾2013 – Reading Area Water Authority, Reading, Pennsylvania
RAWA is a former WREN Source Water Protection Grantee 2008-2009. Congratulations to Dean Miller and the entire team at RAWA and partners for their outstanding achievement!
March 2013 WREN Feature article on RAWA
May 24, 2013 WREN Awards 2013 Source Water Protection Collaborative Grant for community education to Berks County Coalition that includes RAWA as a member