Water Supply - Spill Response Sign

Many water systems have transportation corridors, both highways and railways that pass through areas that provide drinking water. Accidents involving a spill of hazardous materials as well as stormwater on those highways and roads may wash de-icing materials to the rivers and creeks in source water areas. When spills occur, they have the potential to enter storm drains and reach the rivers and streams that furnish drinking water. It is essential therefore, for emergency personnel to respond quickly to a spill event.

Posting Water Supply Area signs is one of the steps some water systems have taken to raise awareness about protecting drinking water along roadways.  The signs alert motorists to the presence of the drinking water supply area, and engage their support to quickly report spills along the roadways to the 911 Emergency Response Center.  

Water Systems are required to first have a PA DEP-approved Source Water Protection Plan to receive permission to erect signage along state highways. Signs on a PennDOT roadway must first receive prior approval by PennDOT. Signs on a township, borough or city road must be approved by the municipality.

Municipalities / organizations are responsible for obtaining the sign through an approved sign manufacturer, and installing the sign by an approved contractor on conventional highways only. PennDOT should install all signs on interstates and freeways.

The PennDOT district where the sign is to be installed is responsible for approving the proposed sign location and the issuing of any necessary permits. Districts have the option however to assist local municipalities in obtaining and erecting signs.

More information about water supply/spill response sings can be found here: Pennsylvania Sourcewater Protection. If you have more questions about a sourcewater protection plan, contact our sourcewater protection team!