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 !
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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
Norweco is excited to announce our at-grade bed approval for our Singulair® residential wastewater treatment system! We are proud to offer Pennsylvania the most affordable and effective residential onsite wastewater treatment system. Our Singulair® system, accompanied by our award-winning Hydro-Kinetic Bio-Film Reactor®, produces a clear, odorless effluent that is safely returned to the drain field (NO SAND MOUND REQUIRED).
The Singulair® system has been approved and used for decades in North America and continues to lead the way in today’s market. Certified and proven in hundreds of thousands of installations, the Singulair®, in series with our Hydro-Kinetic Bio-Film Reactor®, is the most innovative, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system. Consider these advantages:
- Precast concrete & HDPE tanks include pretreatment
- Non-mechanical, demand use, built-in flow equalization (surge control) and filtration
- Low electrical usage
- Simple to install and maintain
- No large replacement expenses
- Environmentally safe – no harmful product to replace
Norweco systems are available state-wide through our network of dedicated, hard-working local distributors. For additional information on design applications or where you can purchase Singulair® systems, give Paul Cannon a call at (419)668-4471 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be exhibiting at the WWETT Show, the Precast Show and the PASEO Show. Please visit us!
Please mention to Paul you save this Announcement on the Keystone Clean Water Team Portal – It appears this is suitable for flows up to 800 gpd or two single family homes or a house with 7 bedrooms (3 bedroom house – 400 gpd; each additional bedroom – 100 gpd).
More on sewage options in Pennsylvania.
Note Our Work – Email blast from PIOGA
A state task force on natural gas pipelines is making 184 recommendations touching on everything from location of pipelines to emergency response plans, all designed to promote “responsible” pipeline development in Pennsylvania. The 335-page document, crafted by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, has been posted online for public review.
“It is important to remember that the report is not meant to be the final word,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley, who chaired the task force. “When we present our report to the governor in February 2016, I anticipate that the next step will be to determine the feasibility and implementation strategies for each recommendation.”
The 48-member task force was created in May by Governor Tom Wolf to develop policies, guidelines and tools to assist in pipeline development, operation and maintenance.
Recommendations in the draft were assembled by delegates from sectors affected by pipeline development, Quigley noted, including agriculture, communities, environmentalists, cultural resource advocates, industry officials, government agencies and emergency responders.
That lengthy list of recommendations starts with “educate landowners on pipeline development issues.” Other recommendations:
- Implement full-time environmental inspections during pipeline construction.
- Monitor water quality during construction.
- Establish planning coordination between county agencies and pipeline developers.
- Require pipeline abandonment plans.
- Standardize emergency response plans and provide 911 addresses for pipeline-related facilities.
- Do not locate pipelines parallel to waterways within their 100-year floodways.
- Conduct early outreach with affected communities.
- Minimize impact on local roads.
- Create various statewide bodies and processes, including an all-region DEP pipeline review committee, a statewide pipeline information center for the public, and a DEP design manual for pipeline construction.
A 30-day public comment period on the draft report will run through December 14. [Read more]
Please note – there is no assumed responsibility associated with Pipeline Construction for Private Well Impacts – therefore it is important to document baseline conditions for your existing water sources and water wells. Primary items of concern are aesthetic water quality issues, future methane and other gas releases, spills, local disturbances, discolored water, and related contaminants. The Know Your H20? App for Baseline Testing in PA should help.
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, 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.
B.F. Environmental Builds Expertise into New Water Quality Mobile App
Company experts have developed a new tool that will help families stay healthy
WILKES-BARRE, PA—September 22, 2015—B.F. Environmental Consultants, an environmental consulting firm providing a range of services throughout the Northeast, announced today the launch of a new mobile app that will make it possible for homeowners to get answers about the quality of their drinking water. Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scientist and founder of B.F. Environmental Consultants, developed this new diagnostic tool, called “Know Your H2O?”
“Consumers have fully embraced mobile technologies. If we want to help them, we’re going to have to make our information available to them through their IOS and Android devices,” Oram said. “This new app will put actionable information about water quality into the hands of homeowners all across the country. I’m very proud of this new product.”
Know Your H2O? relies heavily upon the massive online water quality resource the company has made available through the launch of its Water Research Center website. The first version of the software helps consumers diagnose potential water quality problems by exploring aesthetic problems, physical problems, health concerns, or specific problems in their homes. The app is supported by additional content that is directly linked to the Water Research Center.
“This tool helps consumers diagnose problems, but then goes beyond that to provide recommendations for further testing or corrective action,” Oram said. “The app is based on a holistic approach and is guided by concerns about our water, homes, and health. It is a comprehensive tool that can be used by any homeowner, building inspector, water quality professional, or water treatment professional to diagnose a problem and determine next steps.”
For more information about the mobile app or to download your own free copy, visit: http://knowyourh2o.us
About B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc.
B.F. Environmental Consultants, based in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Poconos, has been providing professional geological, soils, hydrogeological, and environmental consulting services since 1985. The company specializes in the following areas: hydrogeological and wastewater evaluations for siting land-based wastewater disposal systems; soils consulting (soil scientists), environmental monitoring, overseeing the siting, exploration, and development of community/ commercial water supply sources; environmental training/ professional training courses, and other environmental services. For more information about B.F. Environmental Consultants, visit www.bfenvironmental.com and www.water-research.net.
The Keystone Clean Water Team was invited to Big Bass Lake to discuss groundwater and private well issues with the Association. Great event and a beautiful community in the Poconos in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania. The presenter was board member and manager Mr. Brian Oram from B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. During the presentation, we discussed:
a. Need for private well owners to be proactive.
b. The connection between groundwater and surface water.
c. Private well water testing – common problems and basic solutions.
d. The real hazards in a community may include other private wells.
e. Introduced the Know Your H2O? Program
Very solid Event. A Private Well Owner Presentation is available for review.
Our Educational Booklet on Drinking Water
Know Your H2O? Program
OuR PSAs on Water
Why Should I Test My Well Water?
Mail Order Water Testing Program
Get Your Community Hazard Report for Real Estate Properties (USA Search- Custom Reports).
Most Common Questions
1. How to Shock Disinfect a Well?
2. Where do I get sanitizing tablets? (Follow link or check with local well drilling contractor)
3. Is radon in water an issue? Maybe – get more information, but first priority is to get the radon level check and run a long-term radon test. Radon by zip code (PA).
4. Red water – is the only solution a water softener?
5. My water is great but it turns blue and tastes metallic?
6. My water stinks. What is up?
7. I have a bacteria problem – do i need to install a UV system and spend $ 1500.00. Maybe- but first you should do the following:
a. Inspect the wellhead or top of the well – Is the casing above grade or below. If below grade, it would be advisable to hirer a well drilling contract to extend the casing at least 18 inches above grade.
b. Does water sit near the wellhead? – if so – divert the water.
c. Do you have a sanitary well cap? No sure – this is a sanitary well cap. Do you have one? If not install one.
d. Shock disinfect well and distribution system – see link above with video.
e. Retest – you may need to shock disinfect twice. Example – See Case # 3
Interested in a Community Based Educational Water Testing program for Big Bass Lake – Contact us.
We could use your help – Here is How.
Big Bass Lake Community Association is not just another Pocono Mountain Resort. We are an award winning and Gold Star Certified premier Community located in the Pocono Mountains.