SAFER PA Releases New Handbook for Private Water Well Owners in Pennsylvania

Upon recognizing that many homeowners in Pennsylvania do not have sufficient information regarding the function and management of their private water supplies, the Shale Alliance for Energy Research – Pennsylvania (SAFER PA) developed the “Pennsylvania Water Well Handbook”. This public service document conveys important information in a straight-forward manner, including an overview of Pennsylvania private water supplies, details on the natural water cycle, how water occurs in aquifers, typical water quality issues, best management practices for water well siting and construction, water quality protection, how to interpret laboratory reports, and improvement of water quality through treatment. The Handbook is expected to have wide distribution, and is available in both hard copy and in electronic form. It is intended to be used as a valuable information piece for well owners, industry and regulators . To obtain an electronic copy of the Handbook and for information concerning how to order hard copies, visit: www.saferpa.org/WaterWellHandbook

Web Optimized Copy as a pdf

The Shale Alliance for Energy Research, Pennsylvania (SAFER PA; Website Link: http://www.saferpa.org/Pages/default.aspx), an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing technology, analysis and education supporting safe and sustainable development of the Commonwealth’s shale resources, has made available the “Pennsylvania Water Well Handbook.”

Als0 – Do not forget to check out the Private Well Owner Guide to Pennsylvania, published in 2012.  Over 53 pages of helpful information on drinking water quality, baseline testing, shock well disinfection, and assistance with the Citizens Groundwater Database.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Pennsylvania Private Well Construction Standards HB 48, HB 81 and Senate Bill 1461

House Bill 343 and Senate Bill 1461 both died in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee at the end of last year’s legislative session.  In January 2015, Representatives Harper and Godshall and Senator Vance re-introduced the legislation that died in the Senate Committee last session.

What can you do to support this re-introduced legislation?  Call your Representative and call your Senator and ask them to become co-sponsors of this legislation.

Representative Godshall introduced HB 48.  To read his memo

Representative Harper introduced HB 81.  To read her memo

Senator Vance will re-introduce SB 1461.  To read her memo

When you call, to help you explain the reasons why Pennsylvania needs residential water well construction standards, I have prepared some talking points you could use when you talk to your Representative and your Senator. You could pick a few points that you feel the strongest about or that relate directly to you.

Why does Pennsylvania need standards for the proper construction of residential water wells?

1. 50% of private well owners drink water that fails at least 1 primary drinking water standard.
2. About 30% of private well owners fail one or more primary drinking water standards and a secondary drinking water standard.
3. Failing a drinking water standard means people and children can get sick.
4. Poorly constructed private wells adversely impact the individual families and the communities.
5. Since Groundwater and Surface Water are connected and about 60% percent of surface water was actually groundwater, this means contaminated private wells impacts surface water quality.
6.Poorly constructed private wells have facilitated groundwater contamination and threatened public water supplies.
7. We need private well construction standards and we need a program to assist private well owners to fix their existing wells.
8. We do not need new PADEP regulations or oversight on private well water usage, but we need a public private partnership to educate the community, help identify the problems, and help to fix these problems.
9.  The Keystone Clean Water Team has been working on this effort since 1989.  We want to be part of the solution.
10. This is a health and public safety issue.

When You send a comment to the legislators cited above please mention the Keystone Clean Water Team – http://www.pacleanwater.org.

Get Our Recent Booklet 

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lease Share this Webpage with Your Friends and Family.

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Get Your Private Well Water Tested Help Protect Groundwater Quality

For 2015, the Keystone Clean Water Team is making sure we inform all visitors about two unique programs.

Program 1 – Informational Water Testing

The Keystone Clean Water Team has partnered with a National Water Testing Laboratory and offering drinking water testing for private well owners.  A proceeds is donated to the Keystone Clean Water Team.  In addition, the Keystone Clean Water Team has agreed to provide a review of the results, send out a copy of our educational booklet on drinking water quality, and become a supporter of the organization for all individuals that have the testing completed and submit a copy of the testing to us to review .  To order the sampling kit and have it mailed to your home – Visit Our Customized Water Test Kit Portal.    After you get your results, please email a copy of the results will your full mailing address to cleanwater@carbonwaters.org.

Program 2 – Citizens Groundwater and Surface Water Database for Pennsylvania

To help track baseline quality and water quality change in Pennsylvania.  The Keystone Clean Water Team is helping with compiling data for the Citizens Groundwater and Surface Water Database.  This database started in 2009 in Columbia and Luzerne County, Pennsylvania and has been expanded to cover Pennsylvania.  This database will contain only certified pre-drilling and post-drilling certified water quality testing form individual private well owners.  To participate in this program, Please Visit this Webportal.  For your participation in the database, you will have a confidential report prepared by a licensed professional geologist and will obtain a copy of our education booklet on drinking water.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

For the New or Future Water Well Owner Homebuyer in Pennsylvania

Welcome to Pennsylvania and Welcome to Managing Your Own Small Water Company

In Pennsylvania,  there are generally no specific construction standards for private wells and there is only some general guidance with respect to well placement and construction.  Further, private well water is not regulated by the EPA or PADEP and therefore it is up to YOU to check your water to ensure that the well produces good clean and adequate water.    This is only a short summary of the information.  If you are interested we offer a Private Well Owner Training Course that can be offered as a Workshop for Your Community, Association, or other Organization.

There are a number of steps to this process and well will break them down as follows:

Well Placement
Well Construction
Well Testing (Yield and Quality)
Well Maintenance
Annual Water Testing

Well Placement
In general, the primary guidance with to water well placement in Pennsylvania is that a water well should be 100 feet from a septic system (regulated), 50 feet from a septic tank (regulated), 10 feet from a sewer line under pressure (regulated), and 10 feet from a property line. To be honest, these isolation distance do not consider impacts from other natural conditions or activities.  In general, we  would recommend the following:

1. If possible, the private well owner should control all activities within a 50 to  100 foot radius of the wellhead, i.e.., top of the water well. These activities should include: use of pesticides and herbicides, storage of toxic or hazardous chemicals, storage or management of manure and other waste, diversion of surface water and runoff, overuse of the area by grazing animals, location of burrow pits, burn pipes, rubbish storage, or storage of used cars or other items that may contain antifreeze, oils, and greases.
2. Well casing should extend at least 12 inches above grade.
3. Well should be fitted with a sanitary well cap that has some form of venting.
4. The well should be located at least 10 feet from a property line.

Other suggested isolation distances

Delineated wetlands or floodplains (25 feet)- with top of casing 3 feet above flood elevation.
Surface waters (25 feet) Storm water Systems (25 feet)
BioInfiltration Stormwater Systems (50 feet +)
Spray Irrigation/ Septage Disposal (100 feet+)
Sinkholes and Closed Depressions (100 feet +)
Farm silos / manure storage (200 feet) Septic Systems (100 feet)
Septic Tanks/Holding Tanks (50 feet)
Chemical Storage/Preparation Area (300 feet)

Well Construction

1. Prefer the use of steel casing that extends at least 15 feet to 20 feet into firm bedrock or 60 feet below ground, whichever is greater.
2. Casing should be of  adequate wall thickness to deal with corrosion and stress – 19lb casing.
3. The base of the casing should contain a driveshoe on the bottom of the casing and casing centralized in the borehole.
4. Wells drilled by a licensed well driller using only potable water as the drilling fluid.
5. Casing should be double circumferential welded or threaded casing
6. Well caps should be sanitary well caps that are properly vented.
7. Annular space should have a grout layer that is at least 1.5 inches thick.
8. Pitless adapters should be used over well pits.

Well Testing (Yield and Quality)

After the well is drilled, the well should be developed using surging, air-lift, or pumping the well.  This is done to clean out the well cuttings and improve yield.  In some cases, this needs to be done to improve the efficiency of the borehole. If the well yield is low, some well drillers will hydrofrac the well. If you are going to hydrofrac a water well, we recommend zone hydraulic fracturing to isolate the deeper potential water-bearing zones.   After the well development has been completed, a shock wellbore disinfection should be conducted.  The well should be allowed to fully recover and a minimum 2-hour yield test is recommend.  After the yield testing, the well should be shock disinfected.  For information on shock disinfection – we recommend visiting Water-Research Center.   The well yield data should include the static water level (water level before pumping), maximum dynamic water level (maximum depth to water during pumping), pumping rate, and length of the pumping test.  This data should be included on the well log and the specific capacity of the well should be reported.  The specific capacity is the rate of yield or gallons per minute per foot of drawdown.  The drawdown is the difference between the static and dynamic water level measurement. 

Before the end of the yield testing, it is recommended that a general water quality analysis of the well be conducted.  This testing should include bacterial quality, general water quality, and specific parameters that are known problems for your region.  Do not rely on a free water analysis or a basic water quality screening down by the well driller.  This should be either information or certified testing conducted by a laboratory.  For information on this type of testing, please contact the Keystone Clean Water Team or the Water-Research Center.   The initial water quality testing data should be reviewed and evaluated.  The first well or city water quality test should be a comprehensive water quality check.  If you are want informational water testing, we would recommend either the Well Water Check or the City Water Check Option. This evaluation should include the need for any further action to improve the well security, continue with well development, or add equipment to improve well water quality.  In some cases, water treatment systems are installed as an additional barrier or layer of protection.  In many cases, the only type of additional treatment that is needed is a whole-house particle filter and a sanitary well cap.  For information on Do-it-Yourself Water Treatment Systems.

Well and System Maintenance

At a minimum, the well water system should go through an annual inspection.  This inspection could be associated with the annual water quality test or inspection of any water treatment systems.  During this evaluation, the aesthetic quality of the water should be evaluated and some basic field water quality screening should be conducted.   For the field water screening, it is possible this can be done using a number of low-cost meters or an informational water quality screening test.

Annual Water Testing

Depending on the results of the initial evaluation, the results should be evaluated to determine what are the water quality parameters that should be monitored to help track the general water quality of the well.  If a water treatment system was installed, the annual water quality evaluation should include the performance of the water treatment system.  If you need help with determining what you need, WE can Help – Here is a partial listing of the informational water screening tests !  The Keystone Clean Water Team can provide guidance on the selection of water quality parameters, review water quality data, and make recommendations on the water quality parameters.  At a minimum, the Keystone Clean Water Team offers a Health Screen Test (only $ 50 if you have the sample bottles (video)) and testing includes bacteria, pH, conductivity, iron, manganese (if suspected), nitrate, total dissolved solids, total hardness, and alkalinity (Health Screen Test Order Form).    If you are interested, you may want to obtain a copy of our Educational Booklet and Brochure.

To Review a Number of our Case Studies – Common Private Well Problems and Fixes.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Be Part of #GivingTuesday Support Groundwater Education Outreach in Pennsylvania

#GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, show that the world truly gives as good as it gets.

The third annual #GivingTuesday will take place in one week on December 2, 2014. You can be part of this effort, Help Make Groundwater Education in PA Go Viral !

 

Help Us Make PAGroundwater Education Go Viral !
#PAGROUNDWATER  @KeystoneWater

 Things you can do – To make a Difference in Pennsylvania!

1. Send out a twit that includes #PAGROUNDWATER and @KeystoneWater
2. Visit one of our portals and follow our websites on twitter (@PACleanwater and @KeystoneWater) and facebook.
3. Consider a donation for as little as $ 5.00 or give the gift of groundwater education by obtaining an Education Guide.
4. Consider becoming a family supporter of the Keystone Clean Water Team- Our New Brochure!
5. Protect Our Groundwater – Submit Your Baseline Data to the Citizens Database.
6. Get an Water Quality Well Check Up for your Well.
7. Check out our New PSA !
8. Consider adding some water conservation or other conservation products to your home.
9. Sign Up for the Water Research or the Private Well Owner Newsletters.
10. Schedule an Educational Workshop in Your PA Community.

Share this image on your favorite social media to help spread the word about groundwater education and #GivingTuesday. Don’t forget to share an educational fact with your comment below.   

Together we can keep it clean!

 

Thanks

Keystone Clean Water Team
http://www.pacleanwater.org

Question of the Week – November 24, 2014 – Phosphates Well Water Hazardous??

From Elaine

I am concerned about phosphates in my well water ( drinking). I would like to know are there safe levels of phosphates and what are they? Also what harm can they do if we drink them?

Phosphates

Dear Elaine,

First – Thanks for the Question and thanks for your comments about our Web Outreach – Phosphate in drinking water there is no formal drinking water standard set by the EPA, but the World Health Organization as a standard of 5 ppm. In central water distribution systems, like public water systems, the operators may add phosphate to help with corrosion control.   Elevated Phosphates in the water for  a private well could raise the following concerns:

1. May raise concerns about other contaminants associated with septic systems, agricultural runoff, pulp and paper mills,  or golf course management.
2. May cause problems with enhance algal growth in swimming pools or fish tanks.
3. May suggest a direct connection to a stream or surfacewater body.

Phosphorus is necessary for life and we have a Recommend Daily Allowance of 800 mg.   Phosphorous is a non-metallic element and is found local bedrock

This should not be significant concern, but we always recommend getting a comprehensive water quality test.

Elevated phosphates in lakes and surfacewater are a significant issue, because in most cases phosphates is the growth limiting nutrient.

Make a difference starting now!

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. It also helps preserve important animal habitats by reducing the demand for Coltan. In addition to recycling cell phones and electronic waste it is critical that consumers demand conflict free electronic devices.   You can help the Keystone Clean Water Team and the Environment by recycling your cell phone.  ”

If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Volunteer

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 the Program, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera Investigation

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera (PV) Investigation

Background 

In 2004, using state cancer registry records, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) found a PV cluster in northeast Pennsylvania. PV is part of a disease group called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which is a group of slow-growing blood cancers where the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.

In 2006, ATSDR was asked to help study PV patterns in the area. From 2007-2008, ATSDR reviewed medical records, conducted genetic testing, and confirmed this PV cluster.

In 2009, Congress funded ATSDR to continue this investigation. ATSDR is overseeing 18 projects with PADOH, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations. These projects are based on recommendations from an expert panel. The panel identified four areas for investigation; epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental studies.

In 2014, the last of the contracts for the 18 different projects ended.

 

Status

The graphic with this email provides a summary of the status of each of the 18 projects as of October 2014.  I’ve attached this graphic both as a “snapshot” in the body of this email, as well as a pdf attachment.  Projects highlighted in “green” in the attached graphic have work complete and a final product available (if applicable).  Projects highlighted in “yellow” have final products in progress and undergoing clearance.  Projects highlighted in “red” have final products that are anticipated but not yet started.  The shapes of the projects in the graphics give you an idea of the category of work of that project, as described in the key on the graphic.

 

As of October 30, 2014, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for 10 projects.  We are happy to announce that 3 new projects (#11, #13, and #18) moved from yellow to green since my April 2014 update:

  • #11:  “Comparative 4-County Study in South Central PA,” conducted by the University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Joel Weissfield) under contract with PADOH.  Final report received.  ATSDR/CDC summary factsheet on ATSDR website at:
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html
  • #13:  “Case Control Study,” conducted by Drexel University (Dr. Carolann Gross-Davis).  Drexel PhD dissertation completed.  Note, this was the one project out of the 18 that was funded via  via a directed appropriation to that university.  Please contact Dr. Gross-Davis regarding requests for further information about her report/dissertation via the contact information on her website at http://publichealth.drexel.edu/academics/faculty/Carol%20Ann%20Gross-Davis/.
  • #18: “Air/Water Exposure Assessment,” conducted by Equity Environmental Engineering.  Two final reports (one on water/hydrogeology and one on air) received.  Two ATSDR summary factsheets are on the ATSDR website at:
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html

 

Final products for another projects are in progress; this is an increase in one project moving from red to yellow (#14) since my August 2014 update.  A final product for 1 project (#6) is anticipated but not yet started.

 

For more information:

Visit ATSDR’s web page on PV: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/

Call ATSDR’s toll-free PV information line: 866-448-0242 or email jcx0@cdc, which will connect you to Dr. Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, ATSDR Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences.

Contact Lora Siegmann Werner, ATSDR Region 3, by phone at 215-814-3141 or by email at lkw9@cdc.gov.

 

Make a difference starting now!

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. It also helps preserve important animal habitats by reducing the demand for Coltan. In addition to recycling cell phones and electronic waste it is critical that consumers demand conflict free electronic devices.   You can help the Keystone Clean Water Team and the Environment by recycling your cell phone.  ”

If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Volunteer

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 the Program, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Carbon County Magazine Celebrates 10th Anniversary

“Carbon County’s free online magazine, Carbon County Magazine, celebrates its 10th anniversary of serving the greater Carbon County region with feature stories of human interest, the arts, invention, the outdoors and the environment; and opinion articles by a contributing staff of over 50 local writers, poets and other folk who write about nearly everything.

Everything, that is, except car wrecks and police blotter items. In spite of what the daily newspapers seem to publish, Carbon County Magazine believes that Carbon County is a great place, with interesting people, and neat things to do. If it doesn’t seem that way, then you haven’t been reading Carbon County Magazine.

Carbon County Magazine is an online-only magazine, and is at: carboncountymagazine.com.  Don’t be confused. It is not one of the advertising-loaded free hand-outs at the local shop. It is only available online.”

Support Your Local Communities

Make a difference starting now!

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. It also helps preserve important animal habitats by reducing the demand for Coltan. In addition to recycling cell phones and electronic waste it is critical that consumers demand conflict free electronic devices.   You can help the Keystone Clean Water Team and the Environment by recycling your cell phone.  ”

If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Volunteer

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 the Program, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!

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.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

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

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Sustainable Development Strategies Workshop Monticello New York

WORKSHOP WITH RANDALL ARENDT, SENIOR CONSERVATION ADVISOR, NATURAL LANDS TRUST
An expert landscape planner, site designer, author, and lecturer, Mr. Arendt is the country’s most sought after speaker on the topic of creative development design as a conservation tool. His designs are ‘twice green’ because they succeed both environmentally and economically.

The program highlights the benefits of redevelopment and adaptive reuse of aging commercial corridors into multi-use centers for the 21st century to implement smarter, greener, more sustainable development patterns, blending the twin disciplines of Conservation Design and Traditional Neighborhood Design.
Learn how your community can:
•Use its unique historic and natural assets to attract economic opportunities
•Improve landscaping and create green spaces that preserve water quality
•Enhance access for pedestrians and bicyclists
•Improve economic viability and attractiveness
•Manage stormwater to emphasize groundwater infiltration and recharge
• Use native species in landscaping, minimizing water requirements, and capturing the distinctive “spirit of the place.”

Monday, November 17th, 2014 6:30pm

Sullivan County Government Center
100 North Street, Monticello, NY 12701

This workshop is of interest to elected officials, Planning Commission members, landscape architects, engineers, professional planners, civic leaders, commercial property owners and investors, and developers, all of whom stand to benefit from the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of aging highway commercial corridors and downtowns into multi-use centers for the 21st century, as well as residents who care about the future economic vitality and livability of their community.
Light refreshments will be served. To register, contact Heather Jacksy at planning@co.sullivan.ny.us or call 845-807-0531.

“There is no particular future that is preordained for any community—the future is a matter of choice. A wide range of futures exists and ‘staying the same’ is usually not one of them.” —Randall ArendtNatural

Other educational programs or training

Green Design – Sustainability and Historic PreservationStormwater Harvesting
Certificate in Sustainability (University Program)
Global Communities and Building a Sustainable Future

DEP Releases File – 243 Cases Where Natural Gas Development Impact Private Wells Pennsylvania

This story was released on August 28, 2014 by the Associated Press.  The link to the story is “Online list IDs water wells harmed by drilling”  (Looks like article was removed- 9/28/2014).   First- I am not a fan of the title, but the list does provide insights into the number of private wells that the PADEP has concluded were directly influenced by oil and gas development in Pennsylvania during the period from 2008 to 2014-  Regional_Determination_Letters .   Also, this story was pre-dated by a very good story in the Sunday Times in May 19, 2013.

May 2013 Story

As of May 2013, the PADEP had determined that 161 private wells had been adversely impacted by oil and natural gas development in PA over the period from 2008 to 2o12. But during this period, over 1000 cases or problems with private wells were evaluated.   A quote from the article

“Inspectors declared the vast majority of complaints – 77 percent of 969 records – unfounded, lacking enough evidence to tie them definitively to drilling or caused by a different source than oil and gas exploration, like legacy pollution, natural conditions or mining.  One in six investigations across the roughly five-year period – 17 percent of the records – found that oil and gas activity disrupted water supplies either temporarily or seriously enough to require companies to replace the spoiled source.”

Question Number 1 – what caused or is causing 77% of the problem? – Is this NOT important?  Answer – NO one seems to be asking.
Question Number 2 – How many were temporary?

Statement 1: The 2013 and 2014 article proves what we have been saying since 2009.  Oil and gas development has the potential to adversely impact private wells.  The cause is most likely related or associated with drilling, methane migration associated with cementing / casing issues, spills, pipeline construction (shallow excavation) and the use of impoundments to store waste. We have been saying this since 2009 and so has the PADEP.   Also, we recommended baseline testing parameters based on the pathways that were cited and suspected.

Statement 2:  The common problems appear to be methane, Lower Explosion Limit, iron, manganese, aluminum, arsenic, and turbidity. We included these parameters in our baseline testing list, plus saline water indicates such as bromide and lithium well before PADEP, PSU, and others.

Statement 3: No credible source has ever said Oil and Gas Development could not adversely impact a private well.  What has been said – there is not evidence that that hydraulic fracturing portion of the development has caused a problem.  There has been many historic cases related to loss of circulation during drilling, mud migration, spills, surface disturbance, methane gas migration because of cement issues, spills, and releases from impoundments.

August 2014 Story

Statement 1:  After looking at the 2014 article and the individual determination letters from PADEP for the Eastern Portion of Pennsylvania  (excluding the first 19 because this is the Dimock Data- We Did a Well by Well Evaluation of the EPA Dimock Data)- we found the following:

Eastern Data Set –

Stated Cause
Drilling – 84
Impoundment Leak – 1
Spill/ Surface Containment Issue – 1
LEL – > 10% LEL in wellhead – 4

Presumption – The Operator was presumed to be at fault – 20 %
Temporary Problem that resolved – 26 %  (but still a problem for a period of up to a year)

Methane at any level – 78 cases
Methane > 28 mg/L – 24 cases
Methane > 10 mg/L – 68 cases
Methane < 10 mg/L – 6 cases
Methane < 5 mg/L – 2 cases

Iron - 30 cases – 28 %
Manganese – 41 cases – 38 %
Aluminum – 15 cases – 14%
Barium – 3 cases – 2.8 %
Total Dissolved Solids -TDS – 4 cases – 3.7 %
Chloride – 2 cases – < 2 %
Zinc – 1 case – < 1 %

From a review of the letters of determination, it appears that the PADEP made the determination in less than 2 months.  I believe there is a regulatory requirement to make a determination in 45 days or less.

Other Interesting Notes

1. In one well the methane ranged from 0.29 to 148 mg/L
2. Two cases wellhead LEL was the determining factor and in one case the methane level in water was less than 2 mg/L – probably a venting issue.
3. Two springs were impacted.
4. Barium – two cases had pre-drill problems.
5. Only 1 case where organics were the issue – associated with a fire suppression activity because of loss of control at the wellhead.  Suppressant was used at the surface.

What this tells us:
1. Most of the problems appear to be related to iron and manganese – these makes it difficult because it is a common and intermittent water quality problem in the region.
2. Methane is another factor – but it is critical to document both methane and all other gas issues and LEL levels.
3. Other parameters of importance include aluminum (we recommend in 2009) and barium, chloride, total dissolved solids, and zinc.
4. The process seems to work, but it would be great to have access to the raw data.

Again – trying to provide a fact based review of the information and use wisely.  The main questions:
1. How many other wells reported a problem?
2. How many of these wells had a problem unrelated to oil and gas development?  What was the cause?
3. How many private wells were impacted by other permitted activities or road salting efforts over the period from 2008 to 2014?

Final Question – If we do not create private well construction standards and fix the poorly constructed private wells – Will we really Ever Control this Potential Pathway for Groundwater Contamination.

Action You can Take!

1. Get your Well Water Baseline Testing Completed.
2. Have the data reviewed.
3. Release the Data -Data Only to the Citizens Database
4. Learn the Facts and Monitor Your Well Water Quality – Work as a Community!
5. Support the Keystone Clean Water Team – Facebook, Twitter, and maybe a Donation?

Volunteer

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 KCWT/CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We need individuals to provide copies of our brochure and information at local events, consider hosting a presentation, and sharing our facebook and twitter posts.

Everything we do began with an idea.

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

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