SPRING CREEK WATERSHED COMMISSION
January 18, 2017
Spring Township Municipal Building
1) Call to Order: - 7:11PM
2) Election of Officers – Bob Donaldson
BYLAWS. ARTICLE 1, OFFICERS, TERMS & ELECTION,Section 1. The officers of the SCWC shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson must be elected officials from participating municipalities.
Peter Buckland moved to nominate Denny Hameister of Harris Township as Chairman. Bill Sharp seconded the motion. The motion unanimously passed.
Bill Sharp moved to nominate Mark Stevenson of Halfmoon Township as Vice chairman. Peter Buckland seconded the motion. The motion unanimously passed.
3) Roll Call of Members
- Peter Buckland - Ferguson
- Mark Stevenson - Halfmoon
- Denny Hameister - Harris
- David Whiteman - Potter
- Kevin Clark – Bellefonte
- Bill Sharp – College
4) Approval of Minutes -Take action on distributed minutes from November 16, 2016, meeting. (Thanks to Lexie Orr for composing the “Minutes”)
Not a quorum for minutes, next meeting the November and January minutes will be approved.
Citizen Comments – The public is invited to address the Commission on items not on the Agenda (5 minutes per comment) Citizen Comments
Judi Sittler – TU
- As an early Valentine’s Day present, Judi passed out Swedish Fish and the “My Healthy Stream” publication to commission representatives.
- Sunday June 11th, will be the 2nd Annual Get Outdoors family fishing picnic at Tussey Pond. Over 300 people came last year. Harris Township will cook the hotdogs again. There will be lots of fun activities like bug ID, enviroscape, picnic, and fishing lessons.
- Jan 21st – PSU Free Public Science mini course, “The Quest for One Healthy Planet”
o Keynote this Saturday: Michael Mann “How to Heal Earth’s Climate” at 10AM Room 100 Thomas.
- State Water Plan – DEP people are reaching out to regional committee members and inquiring if we’d like to re-enlist (Denny and Todd).
o The plan is going to be updated and re-evaluated. Regional committees will be meeting to discuss this.
- Water Level Report: Last year ranked as 102/121 years and was 16% drier than last year. While today we are normal, we are still 3.5’ lower in water level than we were in November and 22’ lower than the previous year. Streamflow is not in any critical drought condition, but the entire Centre County is in a drought watch and groundwater level is in the drought warning zone. If we continue to have prolonged drought and we continue to add more people to the watershed that will increase our demand and impact, we will need a watershed management plan that includes a water budget. We already have the WRMP that does our ongoing measuring.
5) Educational Topic – Walt Ebaugh, UAJA Board Member, “We are not Downstream from Anywhere. Water Resources of the Centre Region”
- 1940’s – we drank surface water
- 1950’s –wells were drilled near Shingletown
- 1960’s – we may not be downstream, but we have an incredible aquifer
- 1980’s – moratorium on development due to capacity of wellfields being able to meet demand
o 13 wells surveyed to make sure they met (500 gallons/minute) – one dud
- 15 years ago Phase 1 Watershed Management Plan
- Over 71 years, the population doubled 3 times. That means the population doubles over a 23 year period, which is not a long planning horizon.
- Precipitation = Runoff + Evapotranspiration + Recharge
- Groundwater budget (groundwater recharge = discharge)
o Typically 100 million gallons / day
- Municipal pumping = 10 million gallons / day
- Planning (100 gallons/person/day) – works because we have 100,000 people
- Ridges – sandstones and shales
- Valleys – carbonate rock (dolomite or limestone) – dissolve in mildly acidic water
Groundwater Recharge Mechanisms in Spring Creek
- Direct infiltration from precipitation
- Concentrated stormwater runoff from valley into sinkholes
- Concentrated surface water runoff from uplands into sinkholes
- Diffuse surface runoff from uplands
- Streamflow losses
- Leakage from underground pipes
Waste Water Treatment and Release
- All waste water treatment facilities have water heaters, which adds 20 degrees to water
- Limit UAJA can return is 6 million gallons day because of temperature, not nutrients or BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand)
o TU lawsuit enforced this
- Temperature is important, because DO is lower in warmer water
- Miro filtration and reverse osmosis basically pure water
o Reverse osmosis: osmotic pressure causes water with less dissolved solids to move to side with more so to reverse this there is a semipermeable membrane and pressure is applied to the salty side
- UAJA would like to put this water back into the aquifer via recharge wells above our water use wells. Not only would this help us maintain historical baseflow, but it would also allow the water temperature to be lowered before it reached our streams.
- However, DEP classifies this water as sewage, so it cannot be pumped into the aquifer
Watershed Management Plan
- We need to cooperatively develop a Watershed Management Plan
- Through a detailed plan, we can get over the obstacle of the DEP definition and demonstrate how important these beneficial reuse wells would be to maintaining a balanced water budget.
Peter Buckland brought up the fact that if legislation was written for a senator, it might be easier to get the definition changed. This may involve the commission and townships collectively lobbying this legislation. This could happen independent of a watershed management plan.
There was discussion as to whether we need to seek outside funding to create a management plan. Some people felt that we could fund the development of a plan through local sources, such as UAJA, as long as we have a strong organizing group. Others felt that someone will need to facilitate this collaboration and that hiring someone with set expectations will ensure we get a quality product on a set timeline. Others felt that consultants may not have the specific information needed to write a specific plan for our watershed.
Peter Buckland moved to put the discussion on next week’s agenda to formulate a watershed management plan. Bill Sharp seconded the motion. The motion unanimously passed. Cory Miller and water authorities will be invited to take part in the discussion. Lexie will get the details on the DCNR grant together for the discussion.
6) Old Business
Spring Creek Watershed Association – Bill Sharp
- Dave Yoxtheimer presented on the geology and the water resources of the Spring Creek Watershed. The group also had an intense discussion on the watershed management plan.
Spring Creek Watershed Atlas – Bob Donaldson/Lexie Orr
- The new website, which will go public soon, was presented to the group. The Atlas Workgroup also changed the review process to be through google docs. Rob Brooks wrote an article on Wetlands that is available in the google drive for anyone to make comments https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fHR5iXLvH569V3Ha7rWXXbCb6qzxqVHvR3C03u9IyKU/edit?usp=sharing
The outline for topics in the Atlas is also being re-evaluated and updated.
7) New Business
- Updated Municipal Contact Sheet is attached. Please make any changes if necessary.
- Mark Stevenson wanted to revisit whether we need to increase municipal contributions this year. Pertinent spreadsheets are attached.
8) Financial Report & Vouchers: Balance: $12,501.88 after $54.51 went to CDT ad, $31.21 went to Sarah’s payroll, and $15.78 went to her benefits and taxes.
9) Once around the Watershed
- Mark Stevenson– Halfmoon Township
The township is moving forward with renovations of township building and re-designation of the community building as the interim township building.
- Peter Buckland- Ferguson Township
SCBWA is planning second plant in Nixon Kocher well field
Ferguson Township is developing a sourcewater protection overaly ordinance since basically the entire township is in Zone 2 of capture area. The first draft is developed and they’ve received many comments.
- Kevin Clark – Bellefonte
537 approval for a sewage plant major $7 million dollar upgrade to reduce nutrient load. The designs will be finalized this year and implemented next year.
- Bill Sharp – College Township
Hall Quarry has filed an application to DEP to deepen quarry about 200 ft. Public meeting Jan 27th 6pm at Mt Nittany Middle School.
ClearWater Conservancy’s Slab Cabin initiative has put approximately 300 acres of land under a conservation easement. Deb Nardone can present this initiative at a future meeting.
Remaining meetings in 2017– February 15th, March 15th, April 19th, May 17th, June 21st, July 19th, September 20th, October 18th, November 15th
C-NET Air Times
This meeting can be viewed on Channel 7 (CGTV) on the following days/times
- Saturday 1/21- 12:00PM
- Monday 1/23- 6:00AM and 1:00PM
- Tuesday 1/24- 12:00AM and 8:30PM
- Wednesday 1/25 – 10:00AM
Thank you to Ferguson Township for sponsoring the airing of this meeting.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:15 PM