Mercersburg (PA) Watershed Management Plan

The EFC partnered with Mercersburg Borough, KCI Technologies, Inc., and Johnston Run Revitalization Council to produce a Watershed Management Plan building off the results of a 2013 watershed assessment. The implementation of the management strategies and restoration project recommendations in this plan will assist Franklin County in meeting the pollutant load reduction goals for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. The plan includes planning level cost estimates and a prioritized list of recommendations with a description of their benefits related to water quality and overall stream health.  

The headwaters of Johnston Run originate at the foothills of the Cove Mountain located west of Charlestown Road and are largely fed by limestone springs. Limestone streams or “limestoners” as they are affectionately called, can and should be great natural resources that support an abundance of aquatic wildlife and trout due to the clear, cold and mineral-rich water that percolates up from the limestone spring to feed the stream. However, like many limestone streams in central Pennsylvania, Johnston Run is impacted by both urban and agricultural stressors.  

Chief among these stressors are those associated with stormwater runoff that washes pollutants from both urban and rural landscapes into our streams and rivers. If these pollutants, which can include sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, oils, bacteria, and metals, among others, are delivered to the stream system in high enough concentrations the results can be very harmful to the fish, amphibians, and insects that inhabit the water, and to humans and livestock that come in contact with and rely on good water quality.


Mercersburg Borough; KCI Technologies, Inc; Johnston Run Revitalization Council


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