Source Water Assessment Summary
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
(Pa. DEP) is required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water
Act to complete assessments of potential contaminants
that may degrade the raw water quality of public
drinking water sources.
This Source Water
Assessment Summary provides information to support
local and state efforts to preserve raw water quality of
Steelton Borough's water source. This assessment
pertains to the Susquehanna River, where the Steelton
Borough's drinking water source is located.
assessment is of the raw water quality, not the finished
drinking water distributed by the Steelton Borough.
Drinking Water Sources
The Steelton Borough treats water from the
Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna River intake is
located in Steelton Borough, Dauphin County,
approximately 1,150 feet off the east shore of the river
near Stucker Island. The land around the Susquehanna
River intake is 55 percent forested, 40 percent
agricultural, 4 percent developed, and 1 percent water.
An average of 1.6 million gallons of water is
withdrawn from the intake daily; a maximum
withdrawal of 3 million gallons per day is permitted
from the Susquehanna River intake.
Borough's distribution system serves approximately
6,000 people in Steelton Borough and parts of Swatara
Township, Dauphin County.
Water Quality and Water Treatment Information
Raw water is filtered and treated with chlorine for
disinfection, prior to being distributed to customers.
Additional information about treated water quality can
be obtained from Steelton Borough's
Evaluation of Significant Potential Sources of
This assessment addresses contaminants that may enter
the water drawn from the Susquehanna River before
being treated at Steelton Borough's water treatment
plant. The contaminants evaluated in this assessment
include regulated discharges and nonpoint sources of
pollution. The table below describes the significant
potential sources of contamination. Each source has
been given a qualitative susceptibility rating (A =
highest priority and F = lowest priority) according to its
potential to impact the water supply source.
Table 1. Contaminant priority listing for the
Susquehanna River Watershed.
Auto Repair Shops
Other (NPDES Locations)
Water Treatment Plants
Waste Water Treatment Plants
As indicated above, agricultural activities, gas stations,
urban runoff, and the potential for spills from bridges
crossing the river are the most significant potential
sources of contamination to the Susquehanna River.
The frequency of road crossings above the
Susquehanna River pose a concern due to the
possibility of spills along the major interstates.
Fertilizer and pesticide use could contribute nitrogen
and phosphorous to the Susquehanna River.
Wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges
may contribute nutrients and chemicals into the river.
An abundance of abandoned mines are located in the
northern section of the watershed, which may
contribute metals to the Susquehanna River.
However, no contaminants are normally found in
concentrations that require Steelton Borough to alter
their treatment procedures.
Ongoing Watershed Protection Activities
Industrial discharges into the Susquehanna River and
its tributaries are addressed by state and federal
regulations. Many sub-watershed groups are actively
involved in addressing important issues throughout the
watershed. This study will offer potential solutions to
water resource problems. Remediation efforts for acid
mine drainage are underway in the northern sections of
Source Water Protection Needs
Based on this assessment, several critical areas within
the watershed require attention to reduce the potential
for nutrient concentrations to enter streams. Emphasis
should be placed on addressing agricultural activities,
in order to diminish the nitrogen and phosphorous
concentrations that may contaminate surface streams in
the Susquehanna River Watershed. Best Management
Practices should be employed at agricultural facilities
to reduce the possibility of contaminating the water
supply. Emergency response plans should be available
in the event of an accidental spill into the Susquehanna
River from a roadway. Increased education about
protecting drinking water sources also could enhance
public support for source water protection activities.
The final SWAP report for the North Middleton intake
is available from Pa. DEP.