The mission of the Chester County Water Resources Authority is to provide flood protection, reservoir water supplies, and water science, information and planning to the citizens of Chester County so that they may live in safe, healthy and prosperous communities that sustain the natural quality, quantity and biodiversity of the County's water resources.
The Chester County Water Resources Authority is comprised of a nine member Board of Directors, each appointed by the Chester County Board of Commissioners for a term of five years. Members may be appointed for additional terms by the County Commissioners. The Authority's staff includes a team of five administrative and water resources professionals.
Board of Directors
- Denny L. Howell, Chairperson is President and owner of Howell Engineering, Howell Surveying and Terrain Engineering. He is the Founding Member and President of the Chester County Engineers, an organization dedicated to advancing the civil engineering profession and focuses on issues specific to Chester County. Mr. Howell is also a Board member of Chester County 2020 and President of the Board of Handi-crafters, a non-profit supporting individuals with disabilities with employment and independence. His professional memberships include ASCE and the Main Line Builders. He is a life-long resident of Chester County. He joined the Chester County Water Resources Authority Board in 2009 and has in the past served as both Treasurer and Secretary.
- Tony Fernandes, Vice-Chairperson is a Registered Professional Engineer and Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer. Mr. Fernandes worked 34-years at Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. serving as Manager, Water Resources Engineering where he directed all phases of water resources development and led the company’s dam safety and watershed protection programs. Now retired, Mr. Fernandes remains active with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials serving on various committees and performing Peer Reviews of owner and agency dam safety programs. Mr. Fernandes is a 31-year resident of Willistown Township living on property which borders Ridley Creek. He was appointed to the Board in 2019 and has served as past Treasurer.
- Robert G. Struble, Jr., Secretary is the recently retired Watershed Conservation Director at the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, an organization that leads in protecting local watersheds and the environment, and is active in stream restoration efforts in the Brandywine and Red Clay watersheds. He also serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Chester County Conservation District and is a Board member of Dockstader Foundation, which supports environmental activities in Southern Chester County through grants and scholarships. Mr. Struble is a resident of East Bradford Township. He joined the Board in 1994 and in that time has been Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer.
- Caren Andrews, Treasurer currently holds the position of Borough Manger/Secretary for Atglen Borough. She has spent her entire career working for small municipalities throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and while Borough Manager for Yeadon, Delaware County served as Board member and Treasurer for the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater (MS4) Collaborative. Ms. Andrews is a resident of West Chester and joined the board in 2017.
- A. Sidney Brookes, Jr. is a Registered Professional Engineer, and retired as an Engineering Fellow following 37 years with DuPont where he was involved in a variety of projects including design of facilities to manufacture intermediates for Nomex Nylon, a fire resistant fabric used by firefighters, race car drivers, and military pilots. He has also consulted to the development and operation of USP purified water systems. Mr. Brookes is a forty year resident of Pennsbury Township. He joined the Board in 2000 and has served in the capacity of Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chairman.
- Lisa Donlon, is a Registered Professional Engineer in PA and DE and President of VanDemark & Lynch, Inc. with over 30 years experience in commercial, institutional and residential development, municipal engineering, recreational and “greening” projects in Chester County, Delaware and Maryland. She is on the Delaware Sate Chamber f Commerce Board of Governors. She is also a Board member and mentor for ACE Mentoring of Delaware, a volunteer group that mentor and encourage high school students interested in careers associated with the construction industry. Ms. Donlon also serves as a volunteer judge for the NAWIC Block Kids construction competition. She is a resident of Landenberg, joined the Board in 2009, and has served as Chairperson and Vice-Chair.
- Dr. Denis Newbold is a Research Scientist Emeritus at Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, PA. His research interests center on riparian forest buffers and on the transport and cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in stream ecosystems. Mr. Newbold is also a member of the Penn Township Planning Commission and serves on the boards of the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority, the Elk Creeks Watershed Association, and the environmental organization, S.A.V.E. (Safety, Agriculture, Villages, and Environment, Inc.). He joined the Board in 1994 and has served as Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary.
- Kevin Gore has served as the Director of Building, Housing, and Code Enforcement for the Borough of West Chester since 2018. In this role, he serves as the Building Code Official, Zoning Officer, Fire Marshal, and Floodplain Administrator. Kevin also holds a Certified Floodplain Manager certification from the Association of Floodplain Managers. In addition to his municipal responsibilities, Kevin serves as the Vice-Chair for the International Code Council's Emerging Leaders Membership Council. He is involved in the International Code Council's building code adoption process, as a governmental voting member, and attends the code hearings to provide testimony in support or opposition of many code change proposals. He recently joined the Chester County Water Resources Authority Board this year.
- Mark Lucas has been the Township Engineer in East Bradford Township for the past 21 years and is a Registered Professional Engineer in PA. He is also a certified Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Plan Preparer in DE. Mark's early career was as a civil engineer specializing in shopping mall redevelopment projects in Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania, as well as small dams design. He has been a resident of Chester County since 1990, when he relocated from Johnstown, PA and is a survivor of the 1977 Johnstown Flood which was caused by heavy rains and dam failures. He recently joined the Chester County Water Resources Authority Board this year.
The Authority was established in 1961 by the Chester County Board of Commissioners, under the PA Municipality Authorities Act, to implement the Brandywine Creek Watershed Workplan. From 1961 through 1994, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Authority led the local efforts to implement the plan through the planning and construction of five regional flood control facilities and two regional water supply reservoirs.
Today, the Authority continues to own and operate four regional flood control facilities (Hibernia, Struble, Beaver Creek and Barneston Regional Flood Control Facilities) and the Chambers Lake Reservoir. Marsh Creek Reservoir and Regional Flood Control Facility are now owned and operated by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as part of Marsh Creek State Park. In addition to its flood control facilities, the Authority owns nearly 200 acres of adjoining riparian lands and easements and the 80-acre Chambers Lake Reservoir. Chambers Lake is a 383 million gallon water supply reservoir that is used to provide water for the greater Coatesville regional water supply system.
The planning and design of these watershed management facilities involved numerous water resources studies and monitoring activities. It was soon realized that these activities could also help address other water resources issues facing Chester County. Thus, the Authority began a partnership with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the early 1970s to provide reliable, relevant data and information on the quality and quantity of groundwater and streams in Chester County. Since then, USGS and Chester County have continued to build an extensive knowledge base of information that is now widely relied upon by many to understand the inter-relationships between the County's water resources and its land and water use and planning needs. Through its partnership with USGS and other partners, the Authority has ongoing programs to:
- Characterize and monitor the County's streams and ground water.
- Provide scientific data, investigations, and projects to address priority concerns.
- Provide reliable water resources information to municipalities, water users, and the public.
The goals, objectives and strategies presented in Watersheds were carried forward into PA Act 167 Stormwater Management planning for Chester County's watersheds. To date, PA Act 167 plans have been completed and approved for Chester Creek, Conestoga River, Crum Creek, Darby Creek and Valley Creek watersheds; and the Watersheds Plan has been incorporated into the Countywide Act 167 Plan for all remaining watersheds of Chester County. Watersheds also provides the foundation of planning principles and strategies being used by the Authority and others in developing the Christina River Basin TMDL Implementation Plan and other initiatives to implement TMDLs and improve the water quality of "impaired" streams in Chester County.
Flood Protection — The purpose of the Flood Protection program is to provide flood protection, flood monitoring, and emergency response information and planning to citizens and communities so they may experience reduced flood risks, reduced financial and property losses, and increased public safety. The goal of this program is for Chester County citizens and communities to benefit from improved flood protection and mitigation.
In addition to owning, operating and maintaining four regional flood control facilities, the Authority works with other agencies and municipalities in flood protection, response and mitigation. This includes working with municipalities to explore potential solutions to these concerns, and utilizing available technology to maintain the automated early flood alert system within the Brandywine Creek watershed.
Stormwater and Water Quality Improvement — the purpose of the Stormwater and Water Quality Improvement program is to provide technical guidance, watershed planning, and water quality measurement services to the general public, business interests, and local governments so that they may take effective actions to reduce stormwater runoff and improve the water quality of Chester County streams and groundwater resources. The goal of this program is for Chester County citizens and communities to benefit from reduced impacts from stormwater and pollution runoff.
The Authority works closely with municipalities and other agencies to advance the understanding and effectiveness of stormwater management practices to reduce runoff and its impacts on our streams and communities. The Authority also conducts studies, investigations and planning, such as PA Act 167 stormwater studies, the Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership and TMDL implementation efforts, to reduce stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution.
Sustainable Water Resources Management — The purpose of the Sustainable Water Resources Management program is to provide reservoir water supplies, stream flow management, and planning, coordination and technical assistance services to affected citizens, communities, businesses, organizations and/or agencies so that they may ensure adequate and sustainable water supplies and natural resources for Chester County citizens and communities. The goal of this program is for Chester County citizens and communities to benefit from sustainable natural resources and water supplies to support desired growth and quality of life.
The Authority operates and manages Hibernia Dam and Chambers Lake Reservoir to provide source waters for Pennsylvania American Water Company's regional water supply system that serves the greater Coatesville area of Chester County. In addition to operating Chambers Lake reservoir, the Authority works with other agencies and municipalities in water supply and sustainability issues. The Authority serves as a regional coordinator for flow management issues in the Brandywine Creek watershed. Chester County's 21 watersheds flow downstream to five counties in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Thus, numerous federal, state, county, and local governments, water users, and watershed conservation organizations are keenly interested and involved in water resources issues in the County. The Authority represents the County in coordinating with these entities on matters that affect the County's water resources and its communities.
Water Information and Outreach — the purpose of the Water Information and Outreach activity is to provide information, materials, events, web portals, and services to the public, primarily through municipalities and conservation organizations, so that they may understand the human impacts on the quality and quantity of natural water resources and aquatic habitats. The goal of this program is for Chester County citizens and communities to benefit from improved water information and outreach for making informed individual and community water use and land use decisions.
The Authority provides water resources information and publications to assist municipalities and others in understanding and integrating water resources management within local land use and water resources decision-making. Through cooperative programs with USGS, the Authority provides reliable data and information describing current and historic hydrologic and water quality conditions to assist municipalities and others to understand the severity of drought and flood conditions and to understand and reduce the impacts of land management activities on the water quality of the County's streams and groundwater.
Our Flood Control and Reservoir Projects
The Authority owns and operates four regional flood control facilities and the Chambers Lake Reservoir (see map) in the Brandywine Creek watershed:
Robert G. Struble, Sr. Dam and Regional Flood Control Facility
- Location - East Branch Brandywine Creek, Honey Brook Township
- Year Completed - 1970
- Total Flood Storage Capacity - 191 million gallons
Beaver Creek Regional Flood Control Facility
- Location - Beaver Creek (East Branch Brandywine Creek watershed), West Brandywine and East Brandywine Townships
- Year Completed - 1974
- Total Flood Storage Capacity - 170 million gallons
Barneston Regional Flood Control Facility
- Location - East Branch Brandywine Creek, Wallace Township
- Year Completed - 1983
- Total Flood Storage Capacity - 511 million gallons
Hibernia Regional Flood Control Facility
- Location - Birch Run (West Branch Brandywine Creek watershed), West Caln Township
- Year Completed - 1994
- Total Flood Storage Capacity - 257 million gallons
Chambers Lake Reservoir
- Location - Birch Run (West Branch Brandywine Creek watershed), West Caln Township
- Year Completed - 1994
- Total Water Supply Storage Capacity - 344 million gallons.
The Authority's programs and services are greatly enhanced by the professional and financial support and cooperation of the following long-term partners:
- Chester County Board of Commissioners
- Chester County Conservation District
- Chester County Department of Emergency Services
- Chester County Department of Parks and Recreation
- Chester County Health Department
- Chester County Planning Commission
- Brandywine Red Clay Alliance
- United States Geological Survey
- Pennsylvania American Water Company
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.