$80K grant to im­prove river

The Republican Herald - - LOCAL - by amy marchiano STAFF WRITER con­tact the writer: amarchi­ano@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570-628-6028

The Schuylkill Head­wa­ters As­so­ci­a­tion has been awarded an $80,000 grant to im­prove the Schuylkill River.

The Schuylkill River Restora­tion Fund grants are made pos­si­ble by sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions: Ex­elon Gen­er­a­tion’s Lim­er­ick Gen­er­at­ing Sta­tion, the Philadel­phia Wa­ter De­part­ment, Coca-Cola, Part­ner­ship for the Delaware es­tu­ary, and MOM’s Or­ganic Mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the Schuylkill River Na­tional and State Her­itage Area. A to­tal of $364,193 was awarded to 11 projects ear­lier this month.

The Schuylkill Head­wa­ters As­so­ci­a­tion re­ceived the sec­ond high­est amount awarded. An ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee se­lected the grant re­cip­i­ents. The money will be used for adding high-cal­cium lime­stone to the West Creek and Dyer Run stream chan­nels. Dyer run starts off near In­ter­state 81 and flows into the Min­ersville Reser­voir. The re­main­ing wa­ter flows into the West Branch of the Schuylkill River. The West Creek orig­i­nates about a mile north of Forestville and flows to­ward Branch­dale, where it joins up with the Muddy Run stream and com­bines to form the West Branch of the Schuylkill River, Bill Re­ichert, pres­i­dent of the Schuylkill Head­wa­ters As­so­ci­a­tion, said. The lime­stone will flow down­stream and buf­fer the acid­ity and raise the pH level of the wa­ter, Re­ichert said. He wrote the grant for the en­tire amount re­quested.

“You don’t want an acid stream or low pH wa­ter,” Re­ichert said, adding it is bad for the or­gan­isms that live in the wa­ter and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ex­act de­tails are not fi­nal­ized yet on how much and where the lime­stone will be added. Wa­ter qual­ity test­ing will be done on the streams on a quar­terly ba­sis. Re­ichert said the project could start this fall. He didn’t say when the project would be com­pleted. Be­cause of the ge­ol­ogy of the county with very lit­tle lime­stone, there is lit­tle re­sis­tance to acid rain.

“Our soils just don’t buf­fer the rain,” he said.

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