As the saying goes, it takes a community to build a village, and that’s just what’s happening in Fleetwood. The community is working together to inventory water infrastructure to build better systems for the village. You may be surprised to learn that two students who recently completed the sixth grade, Aaron Felty and Brennan Kidd, are behind this data collection effort.
When the EPA published the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions in January 2021, they required all community water systems to submit a service line inventory to the Department of Environmental Protection. By 2024, the Borough is required to determine where lead pipes exist in their systems and where pipes exist on the customer side that connect to the system. In addition to meeting the new regulatory requirement, this information will help the Borough apply for infrastructure grants to support necessary updates.
As the Fleetwood Borough Public Works Director, Craig Conrad, and the Borough developed their strategy for collecting this information with their engineering consultant, Tori Morgan of Entech Engineering, an idea came to mind. Tori and Craig had just provided an environmental presentation at Fleetwood Middle School, where they discussed global and local water and ecology, including pollutants of concern and the new Lead and Copper Rule.
Following their presentation, students were instructed to choose a related project. Felty and Kidd chose to focus on environmental awareness regarding lead in drinking water. The students researched EPA regulations and worked with the borough officials and the engineering team to develop an online survey that could be shared with borough residents. They also included video tutorial links to show residents how to do simple tests to determine what material their pipes were made from.
“I am very proud of this community collaboration and grateful for the efforts put forth by our students and teachers to help us secure this information. They did a fantastic job! We are all hopeful that the residents will do their part to support the students and the Borough in this project by completing the survey,” shared Craig Conrad.
How can you help? If you own a property in the Borough of Fleetwood and have not yet completed a survey, there is still time to help the students and the Borough in this initiative. Check your home for lead pipes, then complete your survey at (Fleetwood Water Quality Survey (google.com). The survey contains a few questions and a place to upload photos of the water service lines entering your home. If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, contact Borough Hall at 610-944-8220 ext. 200.