Community
Waterways Impaired by Pollution

Not Available


Percent of Streams that are Impaired, 2020

What does this measure?

This indicator provides a percentage measure of miles of streams impaired by pollution for four different categories of use: drinking water supplies, fish consumption, recreation, and aquatic life.

Why is this important?

Clean water is important to the health of animals and people. This indicator allows for Pennsylvania to protect streams for drinking water supplies, fishing, recreation, and the aquatic life that call the waterways home.

How does our county compare?

Lancaster has higher rates of stream pollution than the state as a whole and than most neighboring counties. In 2020, 65% of Lancaster's streams were pollution-impaired for aquatic life, 3.9% were pollution-impaired for fish consumption, 57% were pollution-impaired for recreation and 0.9% were pollution-impaired for water supply. This is significantly above state rates of 21% for aquatic life, 3.3% for fish consumption, 12% for recreation, and 0.1% for water supply.

Lancaster has higher rates of pollution impairment for aquatic life and recreation activities than any of its neighboring comparison counties. However, Chester (18%) and Dauphin (4.9%) have higher pollution impairment related to fish consumption and Chester (1.2%) has higher impairment for water supplies.

Notes about the data

Waterbody assessment and data evaluation is a continuous process, so Integrated Reports are provided to EPA and the public every two years. Click on 2020 Integrated Report to learn more.

Percent of Streams that are Impaired, 2020
Aquatic LifeFish ConsumptionRecreationWater Supply
Pennsylvania20.5%3.3%11.6%0.1%
Lancaster County65.1%3.9%57.1%0.9%
Lebanon County52.8%0.0%40.2%0.7%
Dauphin County35.7%4.9%39.3%0.3%
York County22.3%0.1%41.2%0.3%
Chester County62.3%18.0%19.8%1.2%
Berks County20.5%2.0%50.5%0.1%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Notes: Rate is percentage of impaired stream miles.




Miles of Impaired Streams, 2020
Aquatic LifeFish ConsumptionRecreationWater Supply
Pennsylvania17,5472,8179,93584
Lancaster County1,0126088814
Lebanon County31802424
Dauphin County414574563
York County38027035
Chester County89926028517
Berks County280276901

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection




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