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Know Your West Lampeter Watersheds
Conestoga River Watershed
An important natural resource for natural ecology and agronomy, the Conestoga River is also the primary source of drinking and sanitary waters for several Townships and the City of Lancaster. The Conestoga River flows in a south-westerly direction until meeting with the Susquehanna River around Safe Harbor. The Susquehanna River continues from Safe Harbor in a south-easterly direction to the Chesapeake Bay, and the North Atlantic Ocean. The EPA has identified stormwater runoff from Lancaster County as a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay contributing large amounts of sediment buildup, toxic algae blooms, and loss of habitat and organism diversity. A multi-state, multi-level, Chesapeake Bay clean-up effort is underway, and has made great strides towards a healthier Bay environment. This website has more information on Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
Mill Creek Watershed
TheMill Creek is a tributary (drains into) waterway of the Conestoga Riverwatershed with a designated use as a Cold Water Fishery. A ‘designated use’refers to the inherent, or preferred, attributes of the waterbody. A ‘ColdWater Fishery’, or CWF, designation aligns actions about the Pequea Creektowards establishing a habitat capable of sustaining fish that live in coldwaters.
The Mill Creek ispresently lacking in meeting the CWF use designation. Historic and currenthuman actions within the Mill Creek drainage area persist in negativelyimpacting the watershed through polluted stormwater runoff. A Watershed ImplementationPlan (a WIP) was developed by the Lancaster County Conservation District in2006, and serves as the framework for Township efforts toward realizing theMill Creek’s CWF designated use. The Mill Creek WIP can be found here.
Pequea Creek Watershed
ThePequea Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River with a designated use as aWarm Water Fishery. The Pequea hems the south-eastern border of West Lampeter,and traverses a predominately rural landscape to eventually join theSusquehanna River just south of the tail of the Conestoga River in MarticTownship. Agricultural activities and development of upland and creek-side municipalities,including West Lampeter, has resulted in eroded streambanks and pollutant-ladenstormwater runoff impacting the Pequea. The Pequea was first reported as an‘impaired’ waterway, meaning a waterway which cannot support its designated usedue to pollution, in 1996 by the PA DEP. Subsequent reports by PA DEP in 1998and 2000 reiterated the impairment evaluation for the Pequea. A TMDL, which isan evaluation and strategic plan for remediation of a specific waterbody, wasfirst created in 2001; and revised in 2006. The Pequea TMDL sets the pollutionreduction targets for the Township and can be found through this link