PA DEP’s Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report lists the polluted streams and the reasons for the pollution. Additionally, the Report identifies waters that have a developed total maximum daily load (TMDL) and waters that require a TMDL, including a target date for the development of the required TMDL. For this section of the York County WIP, the Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report is used to identify York County impaired waters, the pollutants that caused the impairments, and the source of the impairments. Likewise, the Report can be used to identify York County waters that need reductions in nutrients (nitrogen/phosphorus) and/or sediment to improve water quality.
The 2011 York County Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) included information on all York County impaired waters from the PA DEP’s Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report. This Plan, however, focuses on the waters impaired by nutrients and/or sediment (see Map 1 and Appendix B). Map 1 also shows the York County large watersheds and municipal boundaries, in order to put the impaired waters in perspective. Map 2 shows the impaired sub-watersheds within each of the larger watersheds, which further demonstrates the extent of nutrient/sediment impairment in the County.
According to the 2012 Report, the impairment of 28% of the waters shown is due solely to an agricultural source and the cause in each case is siltation. Approximately 50% of the waters are impaired due to another source or sources in combination with agriculture, with urban runoff/storm sewers being the most prevalent. It is also interesting to note that siltation is a contributing cause of the impairment in 93% of the waters and it is the sole cause in 53% of the waters.
A listing of York County waters that are impaired to some extent due to nutrients and/or sediment can be found in Appendix B. Also included are the impaired use, source and specific cause for each water body listed.
It is essential to remember that US EPA’s, and therefore PA DEP’s, watershed restoration priorities are developed and implemented as a result of the Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report. Thus, this Report should be used as a tool to identify priority locations for watershed restoration projects in York County.