Pennsylvania has six major watersheds. A major watershed that feeds the Delaware is the Schuylkill River.
Our headquarters are in the Schuylkill River Watershed, and we perform analytical testing for many clients in the region- protecting the health of this important natural resource. We test the drinking water for more than 3,000,000 people, and a majority are in this watershed.
Learn more about this watershed, and the great recreational opportunities it provides.
The Schuylkill River Watershed by The Numbers
This Watershed covers 2,000 square miles over 11 counties. There are over 3 million residents and the River provides a drinking water source for 1.5 million people.
This tributary joins the Delaware River in Philadelphia, which covers 13,500 miles, encompasses 4 states, and supplies drinking water to 15 million Americans.
In addition to providing drinking water, hundreds of wastewater treatment plants discharge into the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers above Philadelphia. The Schuylkill River is sometimes as much as 60% treated wastewater discharge during prolonged periods without rain. The Philadelphia Water Department is closely studying impacts of such high percentages of effluent on overall water quality.
The health of the river impacts millions of people. The public trusts that we are using the highest quality standards when analyzing samples going into or coming out of the River. We understand that the results of our water testing are used to make important decisions. Trustworthy data quality is of utmost importance for us to meet that demand.
According to phillywatersheds.org, the river is cleaner and healthier than it has been in over a century due to the Clean Water Act, investments infrastructure improvements, and source water protection.
This 135-mile-long river, which means “Hidden/Skulking Creek” in Dutch, provides wildlife habitats, and offers countless opportunities for recreational activities including swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and many parks.
The area is a criss-cross of options that connect parks and trails along the watershed. They can be simple or mixed use, such as Valley Forge National Park. But if you’re seeking a more advanced hike, you’ll find it on the Appalachian trail above Hamburg, PA.
One of the most popular attractions is the Schuylkill River Trail (https://schuylkillrivertrail.com/), which provides 60 miles of biking and hiking trails, and can be accessed from multiple locations.
Fisherman also enjoy bank fishing, since the River is home to more than 40 species of fish. Common catches on Schuylkill Banks include catfish, perch, sunfish, carp and bass. Last summer a fisherman from Germantown caught a 30-pound carp in Philadelphia.
You can keep track of what people are catching on the PA Fish and Boat Commission website (www.fishandboat.com/)
Water trails for unpowered boats are plentiful, and residents can launch their canoe, kayak or rowboat from any designated launch area. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has a great interactive map that provides all the information a boater needs to access and navigate the waterway. https://www.schuylkillriver.org/Water_Trail.aspx
Learn more about this resource rich waterway at http://www.schuylkillriver.org/, where you can also find maps, things to do, and resources to plan your next visit.