“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.
The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:
- all human and veterinary drugs
- dietary supplements
- topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
- laundry and cleaning products
- fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:
- intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
- bathing or swimming
- discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
- leaching from landfills
- excretion by humans and domestic animals
- runoff from confined animal feeding operations
- discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
- accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
- loss from aquaculture
- spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”
Community Environmental Report
Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?
Direct Link to this Nationwide Program-
Visit Us at http://www.knowyourh2o.us
Know Your H20?
We Launched Two – New Phone Apps and they are Available for IOS and Android Platforms
- Know Your H20? – Know Your H2O? is an educational tool that can help you diagnose the problem with your water. This app will lead you through a series of questions to pinpoint the issues with your water. You can reach your diagnosis through describing symptoms that are effecting your home, your health, or the water itself. This App is linked to the Water Research Portal.
- Baseline Water Testing (Pennsylvania) – The PA Baseline Testing mobile app is an educational tool for residents of Pennsylvania who are impacted by Oil & Gas Development or Subsurface Coal Development. By selecting which factor impacts your region, you can discover various recommendations and tiers of water testing that can help bring you piece of mind about the safety of your drinking water. Got Data? You can also submit your own testing data and results to help continue to build the PA Clean Water Team’s database.
The Nationwide Program
- The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.
- We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home or your future homes environmental health status within a community.
- We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.
- Featured Activities or Issues: Old Landfills, Leaky Fuel Tanks, Hazardous Waste Sites, Department of Defense Facilities, Superfund Sites, Radiological Sources, Clandestine Drug Labs, Floodplains and Wetlands and more.
- Report cost $ 55.00 per property, payable to the Keystone Clean Water Team.
Questions – please contact us at (570) 335-1947 or email the program manager, Mr. Brian Oram, at email@example.com.
Keystone Clean Water Team – 501c3
15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
Starting Off the New Year Right
by Brian Oram
Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year. This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources. Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October. This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite. In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted. In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water. A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water. With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction. These steps are as follows:
- Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
- If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
- If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens. For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
- Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently. A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water. My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”. There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water. This is only one change!
- Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected. Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else. For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks. Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
- Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home. The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States. The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month. To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.
The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps. Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water. It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.
A few short phrases we should try to remember.
We ALL Live Downstream !
Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!
We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!
You can help – Make A Donation !
The Keystone Clean Water Team was very happy to work with the local “Poconos Region” Property Owners Association to offer a private well water screening test for the residents drinking water. For the 2016 program, a total of 16 residents participated in the program and for this program water testing was offered at two different tiers. The basic tier provide general information related to the bacterial quality of the water and level of nitrate, iron, and total hardness. The advanced tier provided testing for trace metals such as arsenic, copper, lead, zinc, and more comprehensive analysis of the overall quality of the water. The following is a summary of the results:
2 samples were positive for total coliform bacteria, but no samples were positive for E. coli.;
1 sample exceeded the drinking water standard for lead and 5 other samples had detectable levels of lead in the water;
13 of the 16 samples contained detectable levels of nitrate, but at no point did the level exceed or approach the drinking water standard of 10 mg/L;
1 sample had elevated levels of manganese, but 3 had detectable levels of manganese in the water; and
15 of the 16 samples were considered slightly to corrosive to metal piping and 1 sample was considered very corrosive to metal piping.
The pH of the water ranged for 6.2 to 7.5 and only two samples had a pH that was less than the recommended drinking water standard of 6.5. These samples were associated with water that had detectable levels of lead, but not the highest level of lead. The sample with the highest level of lead appeared to be a sample collected at the kitchen sink after the water had been treated with a water softener.
From this snapshot, we learned the following:
- There appears to be a 13 % probability that a private well may contain total coliform bacteria.
- The water produced from the aquifer tends to be slightly corrosive and have total hardness that ranges from 30 to 150 mg/L.
- The groundwater does not appear to have elevated levels of nitrate.
- The groundwater does not appear to have E. coli. bacteria.
- Lead was detected in some water samples, but the occurrence in the well water is related to the corrosiveness of the water, type of water treatment, and type of plumbing fixtures in the home and not the groundwater aquifer.
- Homeowners that reported problems with sulfur odor or black particles were the same homeowners that had elevated or detectable level of manganese.
- If you are considering the use of a water softener, please consider the type of household plumbing and it may be necessary to install a neutralizing filter.
Based on these results, we recommend that all private well owners conduct an annual water quality test. To facilitate this effort, the Keystone Clean Water Team offers an online mail order informational water testing program for private well owners throughout the USA and we offer our Know Your H20? Free Phone App. To learn about our mail order program, please visit us at http://www.water-research.net or http://www.knowyourh20.us. If you have any questions, please call or email 570-335-1947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership
Guest blogger / writer – Julie Bowen <email@example.com>
As a country, we are proud of our reputation for having the safest and cleanest drinking water in the world. However drinking water that is procured from privately owned wells is not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or many state agencies, meaning that the owners of those wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe and drinkable. Water from private wells tastes crisp and refreshing, and it can be a wonderful gift to own your own water source. It is also important to acknowledge that many residents living in rural areas have no choice but to procure their water from private wells or cisterns. However, regardless of the reasons that their water is sourced from private wells, it is essential that private well owners are aware of the health risks involved in private well ownership as well as the myriad of benefits that they can obtain.
The Risks of Water Contamination
Drinking water from wells can be contaminated in a variety of different ways: either due to naturally occurring chemicals and minerals, the land use and farming practices in the area surrounding the well, and a malfunction of the wastewater treatment systems operating on the well itself. As a result of this, there are a wide range of illnesses that can be contracted via drinking contaminated well water. These can range from short-term gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses that includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to more severe long term illnesses such as reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and other chronic illnesses. Death by drinking water is not common, but it has happened. Individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as children, pregnant women, and elderly people, are more vulnerable to the effects of certain contaminates and should be especially vigilant about the quality of their privately owned drinking water.
Two of the parasitic illnesses private well owners should be most aware of are Hepatitis A and Giardia (which is the parasite that causes the illness giardiasis, a common cause of diarrhea). Giardiasis is a relatively short lived condition, that is caused by water becoming contaminated by either mammalian or human feces. The parasite itself is resistant to basic chlorination, meaning that it tends to be particularly resistant to water treatment methods, however once infected most individuals have overcome the illness in approximately 7 days. More deadly are the risks posed by the liver condition hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious illness that is also contracted via the fecal oral route, due to water contaminated by infected feces. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection, but the symptoms can be severe and pose a particular risk to vulnerable individuals.
Taking the Appropriate Precautions
Because of the risks of being exposed to contaminated drinking water, it is recommended that in addition to regularly checking the quality of your drinking water, and taking the necessary precautions to ensure it avoids contamination, private home owners also secure comprehensive health insurance. This will help them to ensure that they are fully protected in the unlikely instance that something should go wrong with their water supply, and they should contract one of the myriad of illnesses listed above.
The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) is committed to ensuring that home owners with responsibility for private wells are given the support, the information, and the technology that they need to ensure that their well based drinking water is as clean and as safe as possible. The quality of well water should be tested at least three times a year, and the well itself should be regularly repaired and maintained to protect the water that is inside. When it comes to modern well technology, knowledge is power, so it is important to be as informed as possible about what is happening inside your well, and well as any possible risks that you face. The process involved in maintaining healthy well water can seem complicated, and the language involved in the process unnecessarily convoluted, which is why The Keystone Clean Water Team can help homeowners interpret their test results and ensure their water is as safe as it can be.
A few thoughts from the KCWT:
- When people say may water taste great and looks great – I have no problem – 50% of the time they have a problem that can make them sick.
- Of these individuals, 50% of the time the problem can be eliminated for a few hundred dollars.
- Some recent work on lead in drinking water found that 2 out of 3 private well samples had elevated lead; whereas only 1 out of 10 city water samples had a lead issue. Testing your well water quality is important, but you must understand our risks.
- Blood lead testing is important for kids – get it done if you are living an older community that has or had historic industrialization.
A few suggestions:
- Download our free phone App.
- Get Your Water Tested (Portion of the Proceeds Help the KCWT)
- Get a Custom Neighborhood Hazard Report
- Order the Private Well Owner Educational Guide
Install a rain garden in your community – Possible ROAs for a Groundwater Guardian Project
Spring is just around the corner, and a great time to think about installing a rain garden. A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff. Rain gardens help filter out pollutants such as fertilizers, chemicals, bacteria, and others contained in runoff. They also incorporate native vegetation, reducing the need for fertilizers and after the first year, maintenance is usually minimal.
Rain gardens are effective in:
- removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals
- removing up to 80% of sediments from rainwater runoff
- allowing for 30% more water to soak into the ground than a conventional lawn
Consider installing a rain garden as one of your team’s 2016 Result-Oriented Activities. Remember, you can add an ROA at any time during the year. Involve the public and make it an educational event! Read more about how rain gardens benefit a community and how to get started.
Featured Text – The New Art of Living Green !
The Groundwater Foundation – Rain Gardens
Some examples of water features – Dallas, PA
Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan
Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination
Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”
Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).
It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.
More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion
Check out the Know Your H20? App
Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.
More – 2/4/2016
Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water
Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.
What are potential health effects from lead?
Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children. Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children. Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.
Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?
No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS, which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water. Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.
Where can I go to get my water tested?
Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory. WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals. A list of certified labs in Michigan can be found here.
How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?
Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.
Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction, click here. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.
5th Annual 2016 Shale Gas Innovation Contest Launched by Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center!
STATE COLLEGE, PA – The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center www.sgicc.org is announcing today their 5th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest, offering a total of $80,000 in cash prizes for the four best shale energy oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched. Researchers, entrepreneurs, or small businesses in Pennsylvania or West Virginia focused on developing a new product or service for the shale energy space can apply. A simple online application can be found at http://www.sgicc.org/2016-shale-gas-innovation-contest.html.
The SGICC also wants to recognize the generous support of the Benedum Foundation that once again extends the contest to include West Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania.
In addition to the cash prizes, successful applicants will gain exposure to investors, potential partners, and industry sponsors. Additionally at this year’s Finals Event, already scheduled to take place on May 18th, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe, PA, there will be a poster session included to highlight some of the most promising technologies under development at regional universities and research centers.
This 5th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest’s GOLD Sponsor is the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (http://www.benfranklin.org). Industry sponsors include: AquaTech (www.aquatech.com), Chevron Technology Ventures (http://www.chevron.com/ctv/ctvi/), EQT Corporation (https://www.eqt.com/ ), First National Bank (www.fnb-online.com ), GE Oil & Gas (http://www.ge-energy.com), Inflection Energy (http://www.inflectionenergy.com/), LPR Energy (http://www.lprenergy.com/), LPR Land Services (http://www.lprls.com/), the Marcellus Shale Coalition (http://marcelluscoalition.org), PPG Industries (http://corporate.ppg.com/), Praxair (www.praxair.com), Steptoe & Johnson PLLC (http://www.steptoe-johnson.com/ ), and Williams (www.williamsinthenortheast.com). Non-Profit sponsors include: Carnegie Mellon University Scott Institute for Energy Innovation (http://www.cmu.edu/energy/), and Penn State University’s Institute for Natural Gas Research (http://www.ems.psu.edu/INGaR).
Bill Hall, Director of the SGICC commented, “The challenging pricing environment that the industry is facing, coupled with the ever increasing emphasis on environmental compliance, and gaining the social license to operate across the Marcellus and Utica Shale Region continues to make new innovations all the more important. The rapid pace of innovation adoption across the shale energy plays in this region has been amazing! Through the contest SGICC shines a light on the best new innovations being developed in our region.”
Entering the competition is easy, requiring the completion of the online application. Any idea or already commercialized product or service related to the shale energy space is eligible. Examples include well pad EH&S products or services, novel materials or chemicals to enhance performance, or for instance prevent corrosion or improve product yield, remote site monitoring technologies, natural gas or NGL conversion technologies, and water management or remediation technologies.
Finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry experts. To download an application, visit www.sgicc.org and click on the 2016 Shale Gas Innovation Contest tab. Deadline to enter is 11:59PM on February 1st, 2016.
For details regarding eligibility or other questions, contact Bill Hall at either 814-933-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Tools and Courses
Know Your H20 Phone App and Database Search
Citizen Scientists – The Online Water Quality Index Calculator is Available.
Training Courses on Natural Gas Development and Environmental Concerns
Stream Restoration, Wetlands, Energy, and Water Resources Management
- If you have any testing done as part of this action, please consider releasing this data to the Citizen Groundwater and Surface Water Database. Fill out the attached form and mail the data to the following address:
Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Keystone Clean Water Team
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Please note- if you have baseline testing done already you may have some information on the level of surfactants in the water if you had a MBAS test done.
- Informational Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including isopropanol – Informational Screening Water Kit (Not Certified) Covers about 200 parameters, plus a review of any predrilling data – Only $ 275.00. Email
- Drinking Water Guide for Pennsylvania.