Elanco Committee gets Water Protection Honors

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Elanco Committee members receiving awards from the state for drinking-water protection work are: James Hartranft of New Holland Borough, Denise Besnsing of East Earl Township, Valerie Gregory and Bob Rissler of Terre Hill Borough and Jim Leonard and Joy Oberholtzer of Earl Township. (Photo Credit: Patrick Burns)

Article courtesy of Patrick Burns | September 18, 2012 | Lancaster Online | Shared as educational material

The state Department of Environmental Protection honored four municipalities at Garden Spot High School on Tuesday for exceptional work in promoting drinking-water protection strategies.

Cathy Port, geologic specialist for DEP’s Safe Drinking Water Program in Harrisburg, presented the awards to the Elanco Committee, which includes Terre Hill and New Holland boroughs, Earl and East Earl townships and the Blue Ball Water Authority.

Bob Rissler, Terre Hill mayor, said the protection strategies are a system of early monitoring wells that will detect potential threats to groundwater wells. The program also serves to educate the public on the importance of wellhead protection.

“It’s an advisory group of volunteers who provide local knowledge and information to water customers and the community,” Rissler said.

Rissler and Valerie Gregory, Terre Hill secretary, were joined by Joy Oberholtzer and Jim Leonard of Earl Township, James Hartranft of New Holland and Denise Besnsing of East Earl in accepting the awards.

The Elanco Committee recently received a $5,000 grant from Pennsylvania Water Resources Education Network to help conduct a series of public education and outreach events. A variety of community outreach events are planned that will feature visual models such as the groundwater model and source water area maps.

After the awards ceremony, the Elanco Committee met with Robert Hollister, Eastern Lancaster County School District superintendent, to arrange for Elanco students to develop a source water protection brochure that will be distributed during public education events, field days, workshops and school programs.

The partnership will develop a drinking-water educational display and address improved coordination of emergency response to potential contamination events. Partners will purchase and install source water protection spill notification signs along key roadways.

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