Why RAIN matters?

Protecting surface water and/or ground water is critical to ensuring safe drinking water for us all

“Access to clean and safe drinking water is an essential ingredient to healthy, vibrant, and prosperous communities. Two million residents rely on the Allegheny, Monongahela, Youghiogheny, Shenango, Beaver, and Ohio rivers as their source of drinking water. These important rivers also make the region’s industrial and manufacturing strength possible. Industrialization, urban and suburban development can threaten clean water when spills or runoff enter the waters. This threat—along with increasing cost of water treatment—makes it imperative for our region to rely on innovation and collaboration.”                                                                     
Gina Cyprych, Microbiologist, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

Residents of western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia are impacted by rivers, creeks, and streams. We cross rivers every day, we enjoy recreation along and within those rivers, or our very livelihoods depend upon them. All who live, work, and play around these rivers (and that’s all of us) should take an interest in RAIN and join it in its efforts.

Why RAIN? 

RAIN is a network of drinking water suppliers in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. These water suppliers draw our drinking water from the sources RAIN monitors: the Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio and their tributary rivers: West Fork, Buckhannon, Cheat, Youghiogheny, Beaver and Shenango. Drinking water suppliers have a vested interest in the quality of the source water they treat. The cleaner the source water the easier it is to treat, the lower the expense of treatment, and the higher the quality of water ultimately made available for drinking:  that’s good, for all of us. RAIN provides the information necessary to administer those water supplier systems.

Why should you care?

We drink from the rivers - we are all impacted. Historically, the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela river valleys have been a region of famous industrial activity. Residents of the area settled here because of those work opportunities . . . ultimately finding themselves forced to live in and around the pollution their industries caused. For a century, our three major rivers were highly polluted, and we suffered under a legacy of adverse environmental impact: acid mine drainage, brownfields, oil spills, and industrial wastes. Today, these same rivers are cleaner than they have been in a century, but we still need to be alert to possible influences that adversely affect our rivers. 

Below are pictures of spills in our waterways….does this look like fun?
Would you want to swim, fish or drink from that?