Key Facts about the State of Water in this Region
Fact 1: Pennsylvania counts.
Most of Pennsyvlania's land drains to one of three major water bodies: Lake Erie, the Chesapeake Bay, or the Gulf of Mexico. All three are severely impaired by excess nutrients, harmful algal blooms, and dead zones.
Fact 2: Your flush connects
9 billion gallons of raw, untreated sewage flows directly into Pittsburgh area waterways on an annual basis; enough to fill over 13,000 Olympic sized swimming pools every year.
Fact 3: Historical legacies impact today's water.
Western Pennsylvania's rich history of energy extraction reverberates today. Acid mine drainage can impair water quality and historical strip mining can alter hydrology.
Fact 4: Enforcement is down.
Pennsylvania has 86,000 miles of rivers and streams. That is enough water to circle the Earth nearly 3.5 times. However, unaddressed water violations in Pennsylvania have nearly doubled in the past five years, while staff positions at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have been cut by 36% in the past decade.