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Attendees at Communities Connecting for a Clean Wissahickon public forum, 10/24/18

Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership

What is the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership?

The municipalities of the Wissahickon Creek Watershed have joined together to form a coalition of towns and sewer authorities working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to address our impaired stream health. This coalition, called the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership, will be working on a plan over the next two years to collaboratively “Own the Solution” for a cleaner Wissahickon Creek.

This voluntary partnership will evaluate the causes of impaired waters and produce a watershed-wide plan to make significant improvements to stream health over the coming years. By working together on a coordinated solution, the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership aims to ensure that local interests are emphasized, that no municipality is alone in combating pollution, and to help municipalities, sewer authorities and taxpayers keep costs down in the long run.

The ultimate goal of the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership is to synthesize a holistic watershed plan, called the Water Quality Improvement Plan, that meets the EPA’s criteria for impaired creeks, and to implement that plan to protect and improve the Wissahickon Creek for all to enjoy.

Listen to Pennsylvania Legacies 2-part podcast on the state of the Wissahickon:

PEC Podcast - Part 1
Pennsylvania Legacies #28: The Real Wissahickon
Posted March 3, 2017 | By: Josh Raulerson

PEC Podcast - Part 2
Pennsylvania Legacies #60: The Right Questions
Posted November 3, 2017 | By: Josh Raulerson

PEC Podcast - Part 3
Pennsylvania Legacies #64: A Tale of Two Townships
Posted January 13, 2018 | By: Josh Raulerson

PEC Podcast - Part 4
Pennsylvania Legacies #86: Teaming Up to Save the Wissahickon
Posted November 16, 2018 | By: Josh Raulerson


Follow the conversation online:


WCWP Hashtag: 

Click the image below to view the
Community Values graphic

Click the image below to view the WCWP flyer: 

Click the image below for your municipal
representatives' contaction information.

Watch the full video here

Who is participating in the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership?


The following municipalities signed an ordinance in Summer 2016 to participate in the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership:

Abington North Wales
Ambler Philadelphia
Cheltenham Springfield
Lansdale Upper Dublin
Lower Gwynedd Upper Gwynedd
Montgomery Whitemarsh





Wastewater Treatment Plants

All four wastewater treatment plants in the watershed are also participating:

Abington Wastewater
Treatment Plant
Bucks County Water
& Sewer Authority
Ambler Wastewater
Treatment Plant
Upper Gwynedd Wastewater
Treatment Plant




Each participating municipality and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) selected two representatives to act on the Management Committee. Click here for a list of representatives for each municipality.

Water Quality Advisory Team (WQAT)

WQAT is a team of environmental non-profits providing technical assistance in drafting the Water Quality Improvement Plan. The organizations are listed below, with a brief description of their contribution to the Partnership:

Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) will lead the Water Quality Advisory Team, and oversee internal technical team coordination and external communication activities. PEC is also documenting the process as it unfolds, and is interviewing stakeholders of the Partnership on their podcast, Pennsylvania Legacies.

Patrick Starr, Executive Vice President, directs PEC’s strategic programs state-wide in: Trails & Recreation; Watersheds; and Energy & Climate, and leads PEC’s southeast regional office, located in Center City, Philadelphia.

Temple University Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) will conduct field monitoring, watershed modeling, and identify and prioritize key strategies to improve water quality in the Wissahickon Creek. Temple CSC will be the lead in drafting the Water Quality Improvement Plan to meet water quality standards.

Dr. Laura Toran, Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Science, is the principal investigator for this initiative, and has published works in the areas of urban hydrology, nutrients in stormwater, geophysical characterization of streams, and fracture flow modeling. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, served on several editorial boards and is a registered professional geologist.

Environmental Finance Center of University of Maryland (EFC) has supported local governments and watershed organizations in the development and implementation of innovative, cost efficient, and feasible financing strategies for over 20 years. EFC will seek to strengthen the capacity of local decision-makers to analyze environmental problems, and develop innovative and effective methods of financing environmental efforts.

Jennifer Cotting, Research Associate, oversees the EFC’s green infrastructure programming, which spans both urban stormwater management as well as large landscape conservation. Cotting works with local governments, stakeholders, and project partners, coordinating technical assistance, program analysis, public education and outreach, and provides training and workshop development and management.

Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) will provide outreach to all stakeholders of the Partnership, and will aim to educate the citizens and municipalities of the watershed about this initiative and what it means for the Wissahickon Creek. WVWA is an organization with 60 years of close ties to the community, and will be ambassador to the public regarding this important partnership.

Gail Farmer, Executive Director, leads WVWA staff in the strategic advancement of their mission to protect the quality and beauty of the Wissahickon Creek. Gail has worked at environmental nonprofits for 17 years, with expertise in wildlife ecology, environmental education and nonprofit leadership.    


The Montgomery County Planning Commission is also assisting in oversight and moderation of the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership meetings. 

How can I get involved in this effort?

If you are interested in this effort, contact your municipality (see links above).
The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association will be working over the next two years to provide outreach to the public and municipalities and to educate the community about this important effort. Please see our calendar of events to attend one of our upcoming public activities to learn more about the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership, and spread the word to your friends and neighbors.

To learn more about what you can do at home to be a protector of water quality, visit our links on native plants, sustainable home gardening practices, and top 10 list of ways to help the creek.


November 2018

Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership
We've Answered Your Questions from
Communities Connecting for a Clean Wissahickon Public Forum

(Ambler, PA) – November 30, 2018.  Attendees from the October 24, 2018 public forum, Communities Connecting for a Clean Wissahickon at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, asked our panelists their most pressing questions about the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership. While we answered most of them at the meeting, but several questions were not addressed due to a time limit. We have answered the remaining questions. Click here to read the responses from our panelists >>>


September 2017

Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership
Assembles “Dream Team” to Review Scientific Recommendations

(Ambler, PA) – September 29, 2017.  A group of 13 Montgomery County municipalities and 4 wastewater treatment plants in the Wissahickon Watershed have voted on the selection of a Technical Review Committee to support the ongoing work of the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership. This voluntary, multi-municipal partnership is exploring alternative approaches to the standard Total Maximum Daily Load regulations imposed by the EPA on water bodies that have been listed as “impaired”. Ultimately, the work of this group will result in a shared Water Quality Improvement Plan for the Wissahickon Creek that will guide municipal actions and investments in stormwater infrastructure and wastewater treatment plant upgrades in the coming years. >>> READ FULL PRESS RELEASE


December 2016

The Management Committee elected their leadership team. The following positions have been filled:

Paul Leonard (Upper Dublin Township Manager): Co-Chair
Mark Grey (Lower Gwynedd Board of Supervisors): Co-Chair
George Wrigley (Abington Director of Wastewater Utilities): Treasurer
Chris Kunkle (Lansdale Building Inspector): Secretary

Sub-committees have also been created for the following functions:

Data Review Subcommittee
Legal Services and Technical Services RFP Subcommitee


January 2016

Sixteen municipalities and four sewer authorities being asked to join partnership by Jan. 29th deadline

(Ambler, PA) January 21, 2016. - A growing number of Montgomery County municipalities in the Wissahickon Creek watershed have passed resolutions to join a new partnership to address unhealthy water quality and reduce damaging floods in the region. The City of Philadelphia, which gets 10 percent of its drinking water from the Wissahickon Creek, has agreed to participate in the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership, joining Upper Gwynedd Township, Springfield Township, Abington Township, Ambler Borough, Whitpain Township and  Lower Gwynedd Township. >>> READ FULL PRESS RELEASE