“We’ve All Got to Be Good Neighbors”

350 284 Stroud Water Research Center

“We’ve all got to be good neighbors. I couldn’t farm here if I wasn’t a good neighbor.” — Barclay Hoopes in Farm to Faucet by WHYY TV

Barclay Hoopes’ family has been farming in Landenberg, Pennsylvania, since 1854. He knows how he treats his land affects thousands of people downstream — it sits at the headwaters of White Clay Creek, which makes its way into Delaware and provides drinking water to more than 100,000 people.

Hoopes’ farm is one of several sites Stroud Water Research Center scientists studied to determine how well best management practices (BMPs) on farms may protect drinking-water sources from pollution. It was also the first project under drinking-water supplier SUEZ in Delaware’s Watershed Control Plan, a plan that was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

SUEZ Water was faced with a choice: to meet federal regulations they could either invest up to $20 million in treatment plant improvements to remove pathogens from the water they pull from White Clay Creek, or they could spend a fraction of that money to encourage BMPs on farms upstream to prevent the pathogens and pollutants from making their way into the stream.

WHYY TV’s First program covered this project and restoration efforts by the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance on Red Clay Creek in their segment, Farm to faucet, enlisting Pa. farmers to keep Delaware’s water clean, which first aired in February 2018.