OVER 1 MILLION PRIVIATE WELLS DELIVER DRINKING WATER IN PENNSYLVANIA

OVER 1 MILLION PRIVIATE WELLS DELIVER DRINKING WATER IN PENNSYLVANIA
LOCAL NON-PROFIT GROUP CELEBRATES DRINKING WATER WEEK

http://www.tnonline.com/node/156658 The Times News, © 2007

May 5, 2007

The nation’s drinking water supply is celebrated each year during National Drinking Water Week, which runs this year May 6-12. Originally promoted by the American Water Works Association, the event will see water utilities across North America join with their communities to celebrate our most precious natural resource with fairs, programs, contests and other exciting events throughout the week.

In our area, the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians want to remind residents that in Pennsylvania, public drinking water supplies are the only water supplies that are tested and protected against contamination. Private water systems are unregulated, so landowners need to take the proper measures themselves to ensure that their drinking water is safe for consumption.

There are over one million private water wells that serve farms and rural homes throughout Pennsylvania. These farmers and homeowners are responsible for all aspects of water system management including routine maintenance, water testing, interpreting test results and solving water quality and quantity problems. Unfortunately, many individual water wells have never been tested and their owners are generally uninformed about proper well management. Research has shown that more than 50 percent of these private water systems fail to meet at least one drinking water standard.

The Penn State “Master Well Owner Network”, is a program intended to teach volunteers from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania about proper management of their own private water system. In return, the volunteers must go out into their local community to educate others about the importance of proper management of private drinking water supplies.

The Carbon County Groundwater Guardians are fortunate to have two volunteers who are part of the Master Well Owner Network. They are now trained in proper well location, construction, and maintenance, land-use activities associated with individual pollutants, drinking water standards, water testing, and water treatment. In addition, they received a free analysis of their home water supply, a handbook of educational materials, a certificate for completion of the training workshop. They also have access to Penn State Water Experts, and an invitation to the annual Pennsylvania Groundwater Association summer conference.

Resource professionals such as Penn State Cooperative Extension, the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency provided this training.

The Master Well Owner program is sponsored by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and is facilitated locally by Penn State Cooperative Extension. Project partners include the PA Groundwater Association, PA Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association, mid-Atlantic Regional Water Program, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3.

To become part of this network or for information, please contact the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians at (570) 645-8597 or by e-mail at infocarbonwaters.org. The Groundwater Guardians’ Web site can be found at http://www.carbonwaters.org. The Master Well Owner Network Web site can be found at http://mwon.cas.psu.edu.

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