An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Lancaster Water Week 2023 kicks off June 2 (video)

Among the 2023 Lancaster Water Week educational events is a walking tour of Lancaster city’s green infratsructure. (Photo: Michelle Johnsen)

Local clean water advocates are gearing up for Water Week, the county’s annual celebration of efforts to protect and restore Lancaster County waterways.

Organized by the Lancaster Conservancy, Water Week 2023 will launch in downtown Lancaster on First Friday, June 2, with live music and poetry, a native tree giveaway, and art in Penn Square and the Lancaster City Welcome Center, conservancy spokeswoman Avery van Etten said.

Events continue through Saturday, June 10. For a full schedule and signups click here.

Some events have fees, others are free. Among the highlights:

More than half of Lancaster County’s 1,400 miles of streams are considered “impaired,” suffering the effects of pollution. Contamination can be agricultural — runoff such as sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen; or urban — stemming from industrial sources or from sewer systems, like Lancaster city’s, that don’t separate sewage from stormwater and are susceptible to discharging untreated sewage into waterways when their treatment capacity is overwhelmed by heavy stormwater runoff.

Cleanup efforts are ongoing and have received substantial investment, including county American Rescue Plan Act funding. The county is part of Chesapeake Bay watershed, and Pennsylvania is relying on it to make substantial pollution reductions as part of an ambitious multi-state plan to restore the bay to health.