By Frank Waksmunski

The Times News © 2003
November 29, 2003

The Guardians have been around since 1999. It still amazes me how so many people never heard of us or, if they did, don’t know what we do.

All this time, with newspaper articles in The Times News and Morning Call, news segments on BRCTV Channel 13 Valley Report, having a booth at the Carbon County Fair and holding public seminars on water and wells, we are still invisible or misunderstood.

We have tried very hard to inform you as to what we are. It doesn’t seem to be working.

Let me tell you what we’re not:

WE ARE NOT A WATER COMPANY. We don’t sell water.

WE ARE NOT A BUSINESS. We don’t sell anything. You can’t have a business unless you sell something.

WE DON’T SELL WATER TESTS. We can help you get your water tested through Wilkes University. You pay for the test and all the money goes to Wilkes.


WE ARE NOT A FRONT FOR SOME BUSINESS. If we were, we wouldn’t have been able to obtain Federal 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt non-profit status.

WE DON’T GET ANY KICKBACKS. All the money we have has been donated with no strings attached or was grant money. By the way, funding is so tight that we may go broke next year.

WE DON’T HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA. All we want to do is help people learn about their water, wells, septics etc. so that they don’t drink toxic water or pollute their neighbor’s water.

WE ARE NOT AN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP. Yes, I know, many people associate environmental groups with troublemakers. We are people just like you and we are doing our little bit to help other people.

WE DON’T MAKE MONEY FOR OUR WORK. We are all volunteers and our total payroll for the last four years is $0.00.

WE ARE NOT A REGULATORY AGENCY. We have no enforcement powers whatsoever. Also, we don’t report anything to DEP.

WE DON’T PRESSURE YOU. You are never under any obligation when you contact us. If you do contact us and then change your mind about anything, just tell us to “Go Away” and we’re gone.

Enough with the “don’ts.” We want you to know that we are your friends and neighbors. We want clean water in our own homes and we don’t want you polluting it.

The best way to prevent water pollution is to learn how to take care of it. That’s what we do. We are an educational organization that focuses on Pennsylvania Wel Water and Groundwater Qualiy.

We also don’t want to see people get sick. If you’re pregnant or have young children, heavy metals in your water can cause brain damage that can last a lifetime. Many chemicals found in water can cause cancer and immune system disorders. These may not show up for years. Things like leukemia, lupus or polyneuropathy to name just a few.

Elderly people very often have compromised immune systems and they are at greater risk to many disorders.

We are a very small group of hard working people who are trying to make life better in Pennsylvania. We need help. We can’t do it alone. All of us are in this together.

The main reason is that most private wells and small water systems are not regulated by the EPA or the DEP in a given state and in Pennsylvania about 50% of private wells produce water that does not meet a primary health standard, i.e., Could Make the Well Owner Sick.  Therefore, it is up to the individual private well owner to ensure that the water is safe.

In Pennsylvania, we have found that typically at least 10 % of private well have one or more of these problems:
a. Low pH / corrosive water
b. Elevated Iron and/or Manganese
c. Elevated Bacteria (Actually it is 40 % to 50% for this parameter)

Less than 5 % of private wells have problems with methane gas, barium, alpha/beta, and other contaminants that would suggest a saline water source.  In the middle, we have found about 5 to 10% may have problems with copper, lead, arsenic, and plasticizers. 

Note- There are over 1 million private wells in Pennsylvania. Assume 3 citizens per household and 50 % of households having contaminated water, this means that 1.5 million citizens of the Commonwealth are Drinking Water that could make the SICK – This is a Health Crisis. It is time to ACT.   

We know this information because of the hundreds of private well owners that have released their information to the Citizen Groundwater Database and we have assisted private well owners with low cost water testing options and education programs.

To Act, we recommend the following:

1. Get Educated and Informed.
2. Get Your Water Tested
3. Work as a Community to Develop Local and State Solutions

If you are in Pennsylvania, you can contribute to the Citizen Groundwater Database and help track change for FREE and if you would like to learn about our Natural Gas Related Information, please visit us at http://www.private-well-owner.org

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.