$80K grant to improve river
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.