The Central Pennsylvania Source Water Alliance for Protection (SWAP) is a bi-county alliance in place to help protect drinking water in Centre and Clearfield counties. One of its ways of protecting the drinking water is to educate citizens regarding their role in mitigating hazards to water supplies.
On Thursday and Friday, Central PA SWAP will partner with Black Moshannon State Park to hold the first-ever Drinking Water Education Days for approximately 573 fifth-grade students from the Clearfield Area, Howard, Moshannon Valley, Mountain Top, Philipsburg-Osceola, West Branch and Wingate school districts. Fifth-graders will be engaged in six work stations that encompass how drinking water is made with a tour of a water treatment plant and water quality testing.
Students’ stream exploration will include macro and micro invertebrates and fish ecology. They will discover what happens to water after it goes down the drain with a visit to a wastewater treatment plant. Students will also find how to protect watersheds, prevent water contamination and see how groundwater is recharged.
The goals for the one-day field trips are to:
- share information and provide an experience and education that will promote clean water now and for future generations.
- provide educational opportunities for all, to achieve a greater understanding of surface and groundwater as an important resource.
The effort will stress the importance of protecting water resources from all potential and non-point sources of contamination, starting at the elementary school level.
Central PA SWAP partners include local municipalities, municipal authorities, private water suppliers, county planning and community development offices, conservation districts, emergency management services and local watershed groups.
Additionally, the group has interest and membership from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, Penn State Cooperative Extension, the state’s Department Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association.
The alliance meets at 10 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Organizations and individuals interested in joining the Central PA SWAP should contact their county planning and community development office. Please call 814-355-6791 for Centre County and 814-765-5149 for Clearfield County.