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Misericordia to use Pennsylvania American Water grant to monitor water quality at Lehman Sanctuary
Posted 06/21/2017 01:57PM

The Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Misericordia University recently received a share of nearly $30,000 in environmental grants from Pennsylvania American Water.

Misericordia University received $3,000 to purchase and install advanced telemetry equipment at the Lehman Sanctuary, a 17-acre site containing wetlands, old forest, natural meadows and prime wildlife habitat in Lehman Township. The investment and installation of the equipment also resulted in the formation of an educational partnership with Chris Miller, president of the Lehman Sanctuary.

The high-tech equipment will allow Misericordia University to monitor environmental conditions and aspects of biodiversity at the sanctuary. Installed instrumentation also will enable scientific assessment and continued remote monitoring of water quality to provide opportunities for protecting the natural resources and advancing the understanding of and commitment to environmental protection in the region.

A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from nearly 40 applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement, and sustainability.

"Each year, we receive an impressive list of applicants who are working to protect watersheds and sustain our environment,'' said President Jeffrey McIntyre of Pennsylvania American Water. "Partnerships are the key to achieving goals, and we are proud to partner with Misericordia University and Lehman Sanctuary to help achieve their goals of protecting our natural resources now and in the future.''

The sanctuary is located within the Harveys Creek and Huntsville Reservoir watershed. It is home to diverse habitats, including older growth forests, a switch grass meadow, a rare undisturbed large marsh, vernal pools, spring seeps and streams. Rare species, such as the Northern Waterthrush bird, red salamander, four-toed salamander and wild flowers, inhabit the ecologically sensitive area.

The telemetry system remotely gathers and monitors data on water quality characteristics, including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity. Misericordia University faculty and students monitor and analyze the information. In addition, visitors to Lehman Sanctuary can access the data remotely and learn about the benefits of advanced telemetry in the assessment and monitoring of environmental conditions and the aspects of biodiversity and environmental protection.

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.3 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting


Pennsylvania American Water (PAW) awarded a $3,000 grant to Misericordia University to purchase and install advanced telemetry equipment at the Lehman Sanctuary in Lehman Township. Participating in a ceremonial check presentation, from left, are Susan Turcmanovich, external affairs manager, PAW, and Cosima Wiese, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Misericordia University.

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