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 Professional Forest Industry Association, ProFIA, is once again looking for recommendations for their annual program, “Fuel for Friends”. As the cold days are increasing in number, those that are struggling financially have a difficult time staying warm. Through this program, ProFIA donates a free cord of firewood to a family in need. If you know of a family who is finding it difficult to afford heat this winter please contact me so I can forward their information to ProFIA for consideration. We will be meeting tonight.
Kelley S. Thornton
Wayne Conservation District
648 Park Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: 570.253.0930 ext. 3954
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
Since I am getting Older – I came across this product seems interesting at our local BNI Business Meeting – Where I was speaking about the Know Your H20 Program and it is part of our BUY Local and Support Local Business Efforts.
Tri-Heat is a new style heating pad that was designed to help people with muscle, joint and arthritic pain find a more comfortable and effective way of applying heat therapy.Heat application is a commonly prescribed therapy in today’s medical field and Tri-Heat’s unique design makes it perfect for treating pain in hard to target areas such as the neck, wrist, shoulder, elbow and knee, among others.
Traditional heating pads are flat, flimsy and offer no support. When you try to wrap them around the injury you have to struggle to hold them in place and fit them to your joints. When you constantly have to readjust them you lose the heat and therefore any benefit they offer.
Tri-Heat is different. When you place it in the area that needs treatment you don’t have to adjust it or struggle to make it fit into the muscle and joint because the design allows it to comfortably stay in place and heat effectively. It’s great for Arthritis sufferers, as well as athletes looking to warm up their leg, arm, and shoulder muscles before a big game.
Tri-Heat comes with:
- 4 Heat Settings
- Moist Heat Capability
- Two Heated Sides
- 40 Min. Auto Off
Forty Fort, PA 18704 Email: email@example.com 844-Tri-Heat or 844-874-4328
Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership
Guest blogger / writer – Julie Bowen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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.
Flint Officials Are No Longer Saying the Water Is Fine
By MONICA DAVEY
OCT. 7, 2015
“FLINT, Mich. — All along, through months of complaints from residents of this city about the peculiar colors and odors they said were coming from their faucets, the overriding message from the authorities here was that the water would be just fine.
Yes, there had been a boil order when fecal coliform bacteria turned up in some neighborhoods last year. And yes, the extra chlorine that was pumped in to solve that problem seemed to create another one — increased levels of a different contaminant.
Still, the guidance from Flint officials about the temporary water supply they switched to in 2014 — partly to save money — sounded reassuring. In a notice sent to residents in July, city officials declared: “This is not an emergency. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.”
The soothing talk has vanished. In recent weeks, testing has shown increased levels of lead in the blood of some Flint children — and health officials pointed to the water as a possible source.
First, the city advised residents to run their water for five minutes before using it, to use only cold water for drinking and cooking, and to install lead-removing water filters. Then county officials issued an emergency advisory recommending that people not drink Flint’s water unless it is tested for lead or filtered.
And last Friday, after corroborating that lead levels had risen in some children, state officials called for the water to be tested at all Flint public schools and for stepped-up efforts to replace lead service lines; they also promised $1 million to provide filters.
Officials met here on Wednesday afternoon, and talks were underway, officials said, for additional solutions that could come as early as Thursday. Gov. Rick Snyder said on Twitter late Wednesday that he planned to make an announcement about the situation on Thursday morning.
Private groups have raced to donate bottled water to schools, where the water fountains are now shut off, as well as filters to families who cannot afford them. Saying “we’re just in a heck of a bind,” Robert J. Pickell, the Genesee County sheriff, began serving bottled water and food that need not be cooked in water to hundreds of inmates in the county jail. Some residents have begun washing their children and pets with bottled water.
And Flint’s mayor, Dayne Walling, who had attended a 2014 event to celebrate the switch to the new water supply, called for returning to the city’s old water supply and urged state officials to provide millions of dollars to help pay for it.
The contaminated water was just the latest blow to Flint, an economically battered city that has struggled for years with factory closings, job losses and population decline.”
- This can be a problem associated with bacterial regrowth, Microbiologically induced corrosion, corrosive water, and a plumbing problem.
- The primary recommendations get a comprehensive water quality test of the first flush and flushed water sample.
- Always flush the water line prior to use and use cold water and not hot water.
- Base decisions on facts not fear.
- Special Informational Water Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including lead – unflushed and flushed water samples tested for 30 parameters including corrosion potential for only $ 175.00. Email