Online Water Maps Gallery - Tips, Sources, Access Use and Constraints

Tips & Instructions
Navigation Tips
  1. You can use the Magnifying Glass icon to search by your address.
  2. As you zoom in, road names and parcel boundaries will appear. Parcels are labeled with the number from the street address.
  3. When you select a stream, floodplain or soil unit a popup box will display key information about that feature.
  4. If there are multiple features selected, such as streams and parcels, the popup box will have a small triangle in the top right corner. By clicking the triangle, you can view information on other features.
  5. The map legend is in the top right corner of the map. When you click the legend it will display, and when you click it again, it will hide.
  6. Not all streams in Chester County are shown in the PADEP GIS layers. This is because PADEP uses the National Hydrography Dataset which does not map all of the small streams in the County. So, if a stream segment has been assessed, you will see a blue or red line on top of the stream. If it has not been assessed, you will see the stream in the aerial photo and it may be labeled with the name of the stream, but there will be no red or blue line drawn over it. This is usually true for small tributaries and headwaters.
Printing Tips
  1. We have found it best to print using the print option in the web browser.
  2. If you have a search box and/or legend open when you print through the browser, they will show up on the printed page.
  3. You may need to adjust the location of the feature closer to the left hand side of the map in order to have it shown on the printed page.
Questions, Recommendations or Technical Issues
Please contact CCWRA (wauth@chesco.org or 610-344-5400).

Data Sources & Information
2014 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report
Description: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has an ongoing program to assess the quality of waters in Pennsylvania and identify streams and other bodies of water that do not meet water quality standards as "impaired." Water quality standards are comprised of the uses (including antidegradation) that waters can support and goals established to protect those uses. Uses include aquatic life, fish consumption, potable water supply, and recreation. The goals are numerical or narrative water quality criteria that express the in-stream levels that must be achieved to support the uses.

Periodic reports on the quality of waters in the Commonwealth are required under section 305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to list all imparied waters not supporting uses even after appropriate and required water pollution control technologies have been applied.

Since 2004, PADEP has adopted an integrated format for Clean Water Act Section 305(b) reporting and Section 303(d) listing. The list of impaired streams, as well as the list of streams assessed that met the water quality standards, are found in the "2014 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report" on the PADEP web page linked below.

PADEP Links:
  1. Integrated Water Quality Report - 2014
  2. PADEP WAVE Tool (GIS based website)
Links to GIS Files:
  1. Integrated List Attaining (Streams)
  2. Integrated List Attaining (Lakes)
  3. Integrated List NonAttaining (Streams)
  4. Integrated List NonAttaining (Lakes)
Pennsylvania ICE-IS Water Sampling Stations
Description: Locations at which surface water sampling has been done in order to determine if surface waters are attaining or non-attaining designated uses.

PADEP Links:
  1. Water Quality Standards
  2. 2013 Assessment Methodology
Links to GIS Files:
  1. ICE-IS Water Sampling Stations
Pennsylvania Protected Water Uses
Chapter 93, Designated Stream Uses
Description: All Commonwealth waters are protected for multiple uses, including water supply, recreation and fish consumption, and aquatic life. Additionally, waters meeting established criteria which merit additional protection against degradation are listed as Special Protection Waters.

Designated uses establish the reason for protection and the water quality criteria define the criteria required to protect that benchmark. Use designations and water quality criteria together, constitute Pennsylvania Water Quality Standards as defined in Title 25 Environmental Protection, Chapter 93. The Pennsylvania Code lists the designation of all Waters in the Commonwealth and includes the criteria and protections which apply to those waters. Chapter 93 of the Pennsylvania Code (pacode.com) can be found at the following web address below.

These GIS data (which are not part of the Water Quality Standards) are offered to provide a spatial representation of the Aquatic Life designated uses (CWF, WWF, TSF, MF) and Special Protection Waters (Exceptional Value and High Quality) contained in Chapter 93.9 of the Pennsylvania Code. These spatial representations are intended to supplement the Water Quality Standards but should not be substituted for the official version of the standards found in the Pennsylvania Code. Should any conflicts exist between this map and the PA Code or PADEP reports and regulations, the latter supersede this map.

PA Code Links:
  1. Chapter 93. Water Quality Standards - .html page
  2. Chapter 93. Water Quality Standards - .pdf file
PADEP Links:
  1. PADEP Water Quality Standards
  2. PADEP WAVE Tool (GIS based website)
Links to GIS Files:
  1. Chapter 93 Designated Uses
Chapter 93, Existing Stream Uses
Description: An "existing use" is defined in 25 Pa. Code §93.1 as "Those uses actually attained in the water body on or after November 28, 1975, whether or not they are included in the water quality standards." The same definition appears in the federal regulations at 40 CFR §131.3(e). An "existing use" is different than a "designated use." A "designated use" is defined in §93.1 as those uses specified in §§93.9a-93.9z for each waterbody or segment whether or not the use is being attained. Designated uses are regulations promulgated by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) through the rulemaking process.

All of the water uses listed in §93.3 are protected as existing uses. These water uses include High Quality Waters (HQ) and Exceptional Value Waters (EV). Existing use protection is identical to designated use protection. The uses are protected on a waterbody segment when PADEP issues a permit or approval for an activity which may impact the use.

PA Code Links:
  1. Chapter 93. Water Quality Standards - .html page
  2. Chapter 93. Water Quality Standards - .pdf file
PADEP Links:
  1. Statewide Existing Use Classifications
  2. PADEP WAVE Tool (GIS based website)
Links to GIS Files:
  1. Chapter 93 Existing Uses
USDA SSURGO Soils
Description: The SSURGO database contains information about soil as collected by the National Cooperative Soil Survey over the course of a century. The data was downloaded from the Web Soil Survey (WSS), which provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.

The maps outline areas called map units. The map units describe soils and other components that have unique properties, interpretations, and productivity. The information was collected at scales ranging from 1:12,000 to 1:63,360.

Soil surveys can be used for general farm, local, and wider area planning. Onsite investigation is needed in some cases, such as soil quality assessments and certain conservation and engineering applications. The mapping is intended for natural resource planning and management by landowners, townships, and counties. Some knowledge of soils data and map scale is necessary to avoid misunderstandings.

USDA Links:
  1. USDA Web Soil Survey
  2. USDA Soil Information
FEMA National Flood Hazard layer
Description: The layer presented in the CCWRA online maps is taken directly from the FEMA GeoPlatform. The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) dataset represents the current effective flood data for the country, where maps have been modernized. It is a compilation of effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) databases and Letters of Map Change (LOMCs). The NFHL is updated as studies go effective. For more information, visit FEMA's Map Service Center (MSC). VFor the specifics of FEMA’s policy on the use of digital flood hazard data for NFIP purposes see this web page.

Official Determination
If you require official determination of FEMA floodplain boundaries, please visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center, which ensures that all required FEMA standards for map accuracy are met/

FEMA Links:
  1. FEMA's National Flood Hazard Layer (Official)
  2. FEMA GeoPlatform
  3. FEMA Map Services Center
  4. FEMA Use of Digital Flood Hazard Data
Chester County Parcels layer
Description: The Parcel layer depicts mapped land parcels or real estate properties within Chester County. This data contains geometric representations depicting the general size, shape and location for all of the real estate properties, which can be mapped, on the County's land surface.

The parcels layer was digitally compiled for internal maintenance and developmental use by the County of Chester, Pennsylvania to provide an index to parcels and for other reference purposes. Any use of the parcel layer or any product or service derived therefrom shall be at the sole risk of the person or entity so using the GIS or its derivative products and services.

The mapped land parcels layer does not represent property survey information and may not be used for such purposes.

County of Chester, Pennsylvania makes no claims as to the completeness, accuracy or content of any data contained hereon, and makes no representation of any kind, including, but not limited to, the warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use, nor are any such warranties to be implied or inferred, with respect to the information or data furnished herein.

Chester County Links:
  1. Chester County ChesCo Views GIS tool
Access Use & Constraints
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection
Disclaimer for Data
The user shall save the Commonwealth harmless from any suits, claims, or actions arising out of the use of the data files or accompanying documentation, or arising out of any defects in the datafiles or accompanying documentation.

The Commonwealth excludes any and all implied warranties and makes no warranty or representation with respect to the data files or accompanying documentation, including quality, performance, merchantability, or fits for a particular purpose. These data files and documentation are provided "as is" and the user assumes the entire risk as to their quality and performance..