Pennsylvania Water Science Center



Andrew Reif


Studies in Chester County

Chester County Since 1969, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has had a cooperative water-resources program with Chester County to measure and describe the water resources in the County. Cooperation has been primarily with the Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA), with participation from the Chester County Health Department. This partnership between USGS and Chester County, Pa., provides the County with the information that it needs for sound water-resources management.

The CCWRA was created in 1961, primarily for land acquisition and planning for flood-control and water-supply projects. With the backing of the Brandywine Valley Association, the CCWRA started its first cooperative project with the USGS in 1969. It was a study of the water-quality condition of Chester County streams with an emphasis on benthic-macroinvertebrates and stream chemistry.

The types of projects and data collection conducted by the USGS have changed with the needs of Chester County and the mission of the CCWRA. Chester County is experiencing rapid population growth resulting in considerable stress on water resources. In response, the CCWRA has broadened its focus from flood control to water-supply planning, water quality, and ground-water and surface-water management. The results of USGS studies are used by the CCWRA and other County agencies, including the Planning Commission, Health Department, and Parks and Recreation, for conducting day-to-day activities and planning for future growth. The results also are used by the CCWRA to provide guidance and technical assistance to municipalities, water suppliers, industrial dischargers, watershed and conservancy associations and other civic organizations, state and Federal agencies, river basin commissions, and the private sector.

The cooperative water-resources program benefits not only citizens of Chester County but also those in other states as the headwaters of several interstate drainages lie within the County. In addition, the program serves the interests of the Federal government as innovative studies conducted in Chester County provide methods and interpretations that often can be used nationwide. Major program thrusts include collection of surface-water, ground-water, and water-quality data and interpretive studies.

Recent Publications

Senior, L.A., 2017, Estimated fecal coliform bacteria concentrations using near real-time continuous water-quality and streamflow data from five stream sites in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 2007–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5075, 46 p.,

Duris, J.W., Reif, A.R., Olson, L.E., and Johnson, H.E., 2011, SIR 2011-5164: Pathogenic bacteria and microbial-source tracking markers in Brandywine Creek Basin, Pennsylvania and Delaware, 2009-10

Reif, Andrew G., 2012, SIR 2012-5116: A benthic-macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity and assessment of conditions in selected streams in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1998-2009

Chaplin, Jeffrey J.; White, Kirk E.; Olson, Leif E., 2009, SIR 2009-5020: Physical and Vegetative Characteristics of a Newly Constructed Wetland and Modified Stream Reach, Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 2000-2006

Senior, Lisa A.; Cinotto, Peter J., 2007, OFR 2007-1253: Effect of On-Site Wastewater Disposal on Quality of Ground Water and Base Flow-A Pilot Study in Chester County, Southeastern Pennsylvania, 2005

Senior, Lisa A.; Sloto, Ronald A., 2010 SIR 2010-5087: Groundwater-quality monitoring program in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1980-2008

Sloto, R.A., 2011, FS 2011-3101: Trace Metals Related to Historical Iron Smelting at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Berks and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania

Sloto, R.A., and Olson, L.E., 2011, SIR 2011-5109: Estimated Suspended-Sediment Loads and Yields in the French and Brandywine Creek Basins, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Water Years 2008-09

Sloto, Ronald A.; Reif, Andrew G., 2011, SIR 2011-5014: Distribution of trace metals at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Berks and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania

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