Protecting water supply a priority for Jefferson County activists

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CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — We may take it for granted, the quality of our water. But some caring citizens in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia don’t take it for granted.

And we probably don’t give much thought to what goes into getting that water we routinely draw from our taps. But there is a core of eastern panhandle citizens who do. Take Tanner Haid with the West Virginia Rivers Coalition for example. Protecting the landscape, he says, is vital to our water quality.

“We’re planting trees in a way that they’re in the most important spot,” says Haid. “And by planting trees not only are we protecting the quality of the water and helping to repair and restore the stream, we’re protecting the Harpers Ferry drinking water supply.”

It’s being sure tree roots stabilize the soil to prevent erosion. Susannah Buckles has a farm near Charles Town and wants every area resident to be mindful of protecting the quality of our drinking water.

“This is so important,” Buckles says. “And I think opportunities for adults and hopefully young children – there is going to be an education component to this program.”

As far away as Charles Town is from Harpers Ferry it still depends on Charles Town as its water source. Barbara Humes is on Harpers Ferry Town Council but is especially active on water quality issues for her community.

“Anything that happens upstream is going to impact the quality of the water as it travels downstream,” Humes says.

James Remuzzi is a specialist in landscaping who ensures the optimal designs buffer contaminants that may invade the water supply.

“The story of the water is told on the land,” explains Remuzzi. “So as the water moves all over the landscape it’s going to be interacting with that landscape.”

This team of water quality activists met Tuesday afternoon at the Gap View Farm to assess the landscaping impact on the water supply.

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