Pennyslvania Park Told to Close Down Water System
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has ordered the owners of Moon Meadows Campground in Greenfield Township, Erie County, to stop operating their water system immediately because it could expose users to sewage or other contaminants.
The Pottstown Mercury reported that, according to the department’s northwest regional director, Thomas and Patricia Peckham’s actions violate thePennylvania’s Safe Drinking Water Act and, despite the agency’s earlier efforts to correct the issues and bring the water system into compliance with the law, the campground owners allowed the violations to continue.
“We found violations with the water wells and also in the fact that the Peckhams were operating a public water supply without the proper authorization,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “Despite assurances that these issues would be addressed, an inspection conducted this week confirmed that the violations remain, resulting in our Oct. 6 order.”
Of the two wells serving the campground, one was drilled and connected to the water system without first obtaining DEP approval while the second is vulnerable to fecal contamination because it was built and sited improperly. The second well is situated less than 100 feet from an on-lot sewage tank and drainage field.
The Peckhams also claimed the campground served as a transient, non-community water system—the type which does not serve year-round residents or the same persons more than six months per year.
Thomas Peckham revealed in a published newspaper article this summer that more than 25 people live at the campground permanently. A recent DEP inspection discovered at least 60 service connections.
Given the number of connections, the number of people served, and the duration of their residence, Moon Meadows should have been operating with a DEP public water system permit. DEP previously cited the couple on July 27 and Aug. 12 for violating well and public water supply permit requirements.
On Sept. 16, Thomas Peckham informed DEP that he intended to reduce the number of connections and the number of residents being served so that Moon Meadows would no longer be eligible for consideration as a public water supply. Subsequent inspections on Sept. 22 and Oct. 6 found the campground continued to violate the law.
The order DEP issued last week obligates the Peckhams by Oct. 14 to disconnect the number of water service connections permanently to 14 or fewer, to reduce to 24 or fewer the number of residents being served by the water system, and to identify the locations of remaining and severed service connections.
The Peckhams may choose to operate a public water supply if they obtain all necessary DEP permits or approvals and correct the significant deficiencies that exist.