Article Submitted to Connections Magazine for February 2018 American Heart Health Month

Show Your Partner You Care – “Know Your H20”

By: Brian Oram, Professional Geologist

This article was prepared based on the topic of “Romance”.   On the topic of romance, I am not an expert.  I have been married only twice and currently love only one women my current wife.  Robin is great!   Many see this as a time to show the one you love you care by going that extra mile, saying I love you, being more considerate, and trying to at least let that other person know you care and you love them.   Therefore, it is good to have big strong heart and for that reason it is “American Heart Month”.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and in the month of January my good friend had a massive heart attack.  He is currently doing well.   Since I am not a physician I can only tell you what my doctor tells me   “Make heart-healthy choices” and “Know the risk factors”, and stay hydrated.

Since I am in expert in geology and water quality, I would like to add “Know YOUR H20”.  It is critical to know what you are putting into your body and what you are using to hydrate your system.    Humans are big bags of water.    Since hydration impacts the circulatory system, improper hydration may cause the heart to pump quicker.  There are a number of contaminates in drinking water that can impact your heart and overall health.  These contaminants include: atrazine, arsenic, antimony, barium, cadmium, lead, microorganisms, and selenium.   In general, 50% of private wells in Pennsylvania have elevated levels of bacteria and 8% contain elevated levels of arsenic, and about 40% may contain elevated levels of lead/copper and other trace metals.  Even “city water” may contain elevated levels of trace metals and chlorine by-products that can impact your health.  To show your partner you care, get your water tested and make sure you “KnowYour H20” and the hazards in your community.

PS: Buy native flowers and say I love you !

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

Brian Oram is a licensed professional geologist and a soil scientist.  He is the owner of B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. and the manager for the Keystone Clean Water Team a 501 c3.

 

Master Watershed Steward Program Monroe County Pennsylvania

January 8, 2018
Penn State Extension and the Monroe County Conservation District are excited to launch the Master Watershed Steward Program.
The Master Watershed Steward program is a collaborative effort between Penn State Extension, Monroe County Conservation District, and local conservation groups. It is similar to the Master Gardener program and is designed to train people in a formal way about the basics of water resource stewardship, creating an energized and educated group of citizens. Currently, the MWS program is in 13 counties across the state and has 194 volunteers that have contributed over 7,500 volunteer hours in 2017.
We are recruiting 20-25 interested people for the class of 2018. The class will consist of 40 hours of training on various topics, including water quality, stream health, groundwater, native plants, and recreational resources. Once this part of the training is complete, trainees perform 50 hours of volunteer service on selected projects such as:
– Organizing and executing stream cleanups.
– Designing and installing demonstration rain gardens.
– Assist in stream restorations.
– Organize educational workshops addressing topics such as rain barrels, pollution prevention, invasive plant control, and stormwater management.

 

Applicants are welcome from all walks of life. If under 18, you must be accompanied by a guardian or adult. The program will start on Thursday, March 1, 2018, 6:00-8:30 pm and will continue every Thursday through May. There will be several Saturday field trips.
An informational session at 6:30 pm will be held on January18 at:
Monroe County Conservation District
8050 Running Valley Rd.
Stroudsburg, Pa.
If interested, please contact:

Jim Vogt
Phone: 570-421-6430
Email: jav45@psu.edu
Web: extension.psu.edu/programs/watershed-stewards/counties/monroe
Penn State Extension
Monroe County
724 Phillips Street, Suite 201
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Private Well Owner Outreach to Private Property Owners Association in the Poconos – Monroe County

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:

  1. There appears to be a 13 % probability that a private well may contain total coliform bacteria.
  2. The water produced from the aquifer tends to be slightly corrosive and have total hardness that ranges from 30 to 150 mg/L.
  3. The groundwater does not appear to have elevated levels of nitrate.
  4. The groundwater does not appear to have E. coli. bacteria.
  5. 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.
  6. Homeowners that reported problems with sulfur odor or black particles were the same homeowners that had elevated or detectable level of manganese.
  7. 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 bfenviro@ptd.net.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mr. Brian Oram, PG