President Trump’s Executive Order designed to change the ACA rules.

This was not added for political reasons but general information as it relates to general health and welfare.   We have attempt to keep this site fact based and non-biased on many issues and apolitical.  We work with a benefit coordinator in our area and this was the information we got from them.

“On Oct. 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order affecting the ACA, following Congress’ failure to pass legislation repealing the law. Specifically, the executive order would make changes to certain ACA rules by expanding access to association health plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and short-term, limited-duration insurance.

The executive order does not, itself, make any specific changes to existing regulations. Instead, it directs federal agencies to issue new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. As a result, it is difficult to know how any existing ACA regulations will be specifically impacted before any further guidance is issued.

In any case, the immediate impact of the executive order will likely be small, since it will take time to implement policies, regulations and other guidance to carry out these changes. Therefore, employers should continue to prepare for upcoming requirements and deadlines to ensure full compliance.

It is our goal to guide you through this ongoing change. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact Creative Benefits, Inc. at 610.325.0200.”

Kind Regards,

Your Creative Benefits Team

Creative Benefits, Inc.
3809 West Chester Pike, Suite 190
Newtown Square, PA 19073
610-325-0200
http://www.creativebenefitsinc.com

Please support this portal

  1. Donations
  2. Get your water tested
  3. Do a self screening test.

Your Appliances Have a Warranty – Does Your Drinking Water Quality Violate this Warranty?

Have you read your warranty on that $ 1500.00 appliance, GUESS WHAT?   If you water quality is not appropriate your warranty may be invalid.    The same goes for the water heater, other heat exchange devices, dishwashers, clothes washers, and other water related appliances.   At the Eastern Regional Water Quality Conference in September 2017, I meet Kris Toomey from LH Brubaker Water Conditioning.  He told me a bit about his business.

“Appliances and water treatment go hand in hand. The benefits of soft water for appliances are plentiful.  It is a perfect marriage between providing an appliance that improves the quality of life for a family and offering  water treatment equipment to ensure the long-term reliability of the state-of-the-art appliances and at the same time providing a barrier to protect the family.  Providing the appropriate water quality treatment of the household water is like offering an additional “insurance policy” for the house, family, and the appliance.  Not only are you protecting their investment, but you are helping with soap savings, skin and hair benefits as well as protecting the plumbing system, water heater, and plumbing fixtures.   In many cases, this action is necessary to protect the warranty on the new equipment.  There is no better feeling than ensuring that the family walking through your door making an investment in their home is given the right information to ensure the reliability of the appliances. Every fridge that leaves the store has an opportunity for an RO system to provide the highest available purified water option and this additional barrier protects not only the appliance, but also the family.”

Kris Toomey CWS-1
Director of Water Sales
LH Brubaker Water Conditioning

ktoomey@lhbrubakers.com
717-945-5851 ext. 206

Impact of Water Quality on Water Heating Equipment

“The local water quality is one of the factors that contributes most significantly to the long-term
performance and longevity of water heating equipment. Specifically, highly alkaline water will lead to
the accumulation of scale, which will impact the efficiency of tankless and gas storage water heaters and
can lead to decreased equipment life.”

Note:

Learn about the warranty when purchasing a water related appliance and Get Your Water Tested!

Ohio Waste Treatment Facilities Charged with Clean Water Act Violations

“The centralized waste treatment plant owned and operated by Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment plant in Trumbull County (Ohio) were sued by the FreshWater Accountability Project (www.FWAP.org) for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services (www.fairshake-els.org) brought the lawsuit on behalf of FreshWater Accountability Project through the Citizen Suit provision of the Clean Water Act that allows “any citizen” to “commence a civil action on his own behalf…against any person…who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard or limitation under ⦋the Act⦌ or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or a State with respect to such a standard or limitation.”

It appears that the pretreatment standards may have not been meet and there is a question if the proper wastewater treatment assessments or wastewater characterization were conducted as part of an Industrial Pretreatment Permit.   I am not sure if the issue of “were not carried out to protect public health and safety or the bio-accumulative impact ”  is a real issue, because it would depend on the nature of the contaminant and potential to exposure.  With respect to radiological parameters radon half life is about 3 days and most radium and uranium would likely be bound to sludge and solids, so monitoring of the waste sludge would be a big concern.   No matter what – proper waste characterization and treatability studies should always be conducted.

Read more at http://fwap.org/ohio-waste-treatment-facilities-charged-with-clean-water-act-violations/

Lawyers –  lawsuit can be accessed at http://fwap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Time-Stamped-FWAP-v.-Patriot-Water-Treatment-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

Training

“Fracking” Environmental Consequences

Protecting People Against Terrorist Attacks: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Threat Protection
Ethical Decision Making Webcast

Training Professionals – Career Training 

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Launches Regional Stormwater Management Project – Senator John Yudichak

Announcement: Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Launches Regional Stormwater Management Project

“On the banks of the Susquehanna River, the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (“WVSA”) recently launched an innovative regional stormwater management project that could be a springboard for other cooperative efforts between the region’s municipalities. Senator John T. Yudichak, Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) Secretary Patrick McDonnell, and representatives from more than 30 municipalities from Luzerne County announced the joint venture on the River Commons in Wilkes-Barre.

Under the plan, the WVSA will coordinate and implement a regional and comprehensive stormwater management program that will reduce pollution of the Susquehanna River and help Pennsylvania meet its obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Under existing federal law, municipalities in Northeastern Pennsylvania must curb pollution of the Susquehanna River by as much as 10% in the next five years or each community could be penalized for failure to comply with federal law. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations are intended to keep harmful contaminants out of the river and minimize each community’s environmental impact upon the river and downstream communities. As the EPA targeted reductions are met, the Susquehanna River will become cleaner thereby making it safer for wildlife as well as for fisherman, kayakers, and other sportsmen to enjoy.

The WVSA will assume the lead–on behalf of member municipalities–to finance capital projects, submit all stormwater management plans and permit applications, and implement pollution control measures throughout its service area that will reduce stormwater pollution to meet the EPA’s benchmarks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will be assisting with stormwater mapping as part of the program.

“The WVSA is well-prepared to meet this challenge and we are eager to advance this project after months of planning,” said Jim Tomaine, Executive Director of the WVSA. “Over the next five years, we will reduce pollutants contaminating the Susquehanna River, which will improve water-quality.” By working together, the WVSA estimates that the region will save $57 million over five years and $274 million over the next two decades, in present-value dollars. Individual households will pay a nominal fee—anywhere between $3 and $4.50 monthly—to the WVSA to finance the regional effort. The WVSA estimates that households will pay between 70% and 90% less than if their municipality pursued EPA compliance on its own. “We all have a responsibility to clean up the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay because no single municipality could meet this obligation alone,” said Senator Yudichak. “The regional stormwater project—designed to improve water quality and wildlife habitats throughout the watershed—represents the most comprehensive environmental project in northeast Pennsylvania in the last forty years.”

Learn More about Senator Yudichak (14th Senate District)
More about this Project

Radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania

Evaluation of radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, 1986–2015, with application to potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air
Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5018

“Results from 1,041 groundwater samples collected during 1986‒2015 from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, associated with 25 or more groundwater samples with concentrations of radon-222, were evaluated in an effort to identify variations in radon-222 activities or concentrations and to classify potential radon-222 exposure from groundwater and indoor air. Radon-222 is hereafter referred to as “radon.” Radon concentrations in groundwater greater than or equal to the proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for public-water supply systems of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) were present in about 87 percent of the water samples, whereas concentrations greater than or equal to the proposed alternative MCL (AMCL) for public water-supply systems of 4,000 pCi/L were present in 14 percent. The highest radon concentrations were measured in groundwater from the schists, gneisses, and quartzites of the Piedmont Physiographic Province.

In this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, groundwater samples were aggregated among 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania to identify units with high median radon concentrations in groundwater. Graphical plots and statistical tests were used to determine variations in radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air. Median radon concentrations in groundwater samples and median radon concentrations in indoor air samples within the 16 geologic units were classified according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits to explore potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air. All of the geologic units, except for the Allegheny (Pa) and Glenshaw (Pcg) Formations in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, had median radon concentrations greater than the proposed EPA MCL of 300 pCi/L, and the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc), which is in the Piedmont Physiographic Province, had a median radon concentration greater than the EPA proposed AMCL of 4,000 pCi/L. Median concentrations of radon in groundwater and indoor air were determined to differ significantly among the geologic units (Kruskal-Wallis test, significance probability, p<0.001), and Tukey’s test indicated that radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air in the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) were significantly higher than those in the other units. Also, the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) was determined to be the area with highest potential of radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air and one of two units with the highest percentage of population assumed to be using domestic self-supplied water (81 percent), which puts the population at greater potential of exposure to radon from groundwater.

Potential radon exposure determined from classification of geologic units by median radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits is useful for drawing general conclusions about the presence, variation, and potential radon exposure in specific geologic units, but the associated data and maps have limitations. The aggregated indoor air radon data have spatial accuracy limitations owing to imprecision of geo-coded test locations. In addition, the associated data describing geologic units and the public water supplier’s service areas have spatial and interpretation accuracy limitations. As a result, data and maps associated with this report are not recommended for use in predicting individual concentrations at specific sites nor for use as a decision-making tool for property owners to decide whether to test for radon concentrations at specific locations. Instead, the data and maps are meant to promote awareness regarding potential radon exposure in Pennsylvania and to point out data gaps that exist throughout the State.”

Link to Study 

Water Testing Radon

Air Testing Radon

Radon Air Monitoring

Your Drinking Water and Your Health

Your Drinking Water and Your Health by Brian Oram
Even though 60% of the human body is water, water is a resource that is often taken for granted. The primary concerns with water relate to having adequate quantity of the proper quality. In terms of hydration, drinking water is probably one of the best ways to keep your body healthy. Water is used in your body to help maintain your temperature and ensures the proper operation of your circulatory, digestive, and neurological systems. Water is one of the pathways that potential contaminants and disease causing agents can enter the body, so the quality is also important. Therefore, we need drinking water of adequate quantity of the proper quality.

When the body is not properly hydrated, our body’s response is to make us feel thirsty, but if you miss this clue watch out for dry mouth, swollen tongue, weakness, dizziness, confusion, palpitations, and fainting. If over hydrated, you can become water intoxicated or hyperhydration. If hyperhydration occurs, the kidneys can not process all the water and the system becomes overwhelmed. There are phone apps and other tools to help you to remember to drink enough water, but our general recommendation is if you feel thirsty it is time to get a drink and given a choice pick water.
Water comes in many forms, which can include premium bottled water, tap water, spring water, carbonated water, soda, coffee, tap water, nutrient infused water, juices, and purified water. Of all these, it is my professional opinion that we just need to drink water. The two most common sources of drinking water for a community is either public water or a private water source. A public water source is always regulated by both the federal and state governments and many may call this city water or tapwater, but well or spring water may be from a public or private source. If you get your water directly from a well or spring, this is a private source and this is not commonly regulated.

If you get your water from city water, the most common health concerns are related to the presence of chlorine-by-products or corrosive by-product in the United States, the public water supply systems are disinfected using various forms of chlorine and phosphate is added to attempt to control corrosion. The chlorine is used to disinfect the water, but it can react with naturally occurring organics to form trihalomethanes, i.e., a potential carcinogen; while phosphate will react with the metals in the water to form a scale or coating on the inside of the piping, see “Flint, Michigan”. If you are on well water, the most common problems are the presence of bacteria and elevated levels of salts in the water, like nitrate, chloride, and sulfate, or corrosive water. In some cases, the water may contain elevated levels of radionuclides and trace metals, like arsenic, iron, lead, and manganese. The quality of the drinking water depends on type of water, location, level of treatment, the condition of your plumbing, and your home or house. In some areas, the community is concerned about pipelines and natural gas development, but a hidden problem may be the existing quality of their drinking water.

For citizens, our general recommendations related to drinking water are:
1. City Water Customers- Review any annual “Consumer Confident Reports” produced by your water supplier and act accordingly.
2. Private Water Sources –Get your water tested, at least annually, and have the results review by an expert.
3. Look out for potential problems with your drinking water, based on what you can see, taste, smell, or otherwise detect with your senses or problems that may be caused by the water.
4. Download our free “Know Your H20 Phone App” or visit our website – all Free.
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!

Websites of Interest
Consumer Confidence Reports
https://www.epa.gov/ccr/ccr-information-consumers

Neighborhood Hazardous Reports and Water Testing
http://www.knowyourh20.us

Starting Off the New Year Right – Drinking Water Water Resources Sustainability

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:

  1. Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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 !

 

 

DEP Declares Drought Warning for Four Counties, Increases Drought Watch to 30 Counties

DEP Declares Drought Warning for Four Counties, Increases Drought Watch to 30 Counties
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for Pike County, following a meeting Wednesday of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force.

“We’re asking residents and businesses, particularly in central and eastern counties, to use water wisely and follow simple water conservation tips to ease the demand for water,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We suggest that public water systems that implemented water restrictions this summer continue them to preserve their drinking water supplies.”

Data from the Commonwealth drought monitoring network show that dry conditions persisting in the middle of the state and lack of precipitation in the eastern part of the state have deepened precipitation deficits, resulting in extremely low stream flow and groundwater levels, particularly in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas in the Delaware River Basin.

• Drought warning: Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton Counties. Citizens are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10-15 percent.
• Drought watch: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Union, Wayne, and York Counties. Citizens are encouraged to reduce their nonessential water use by 5 percent.

DEP encourages all citizens to take steps to reduce their water use:

• Run water only when necessary. Avoid running the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving, or letting the shower run for several minutes before use.
• Check for household leaks. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day.
• Run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads.
• Replace older appliances with high-efficiency, front-loading models that use about 30 percent less water and 40 to 50 percent less energy.
• Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets.

DEP also offers other water conservation recommendations and water audit procedures for commercial and industrial users, such as food processors, hotels and educational institutions. These recommendations and additional drought monitoring information are available on the DEP Drought Information website.

Full press release available at: DEP’s website.

America’s infrastructure collapsing Hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) was just found in 75% of drinking water

“(NaturalNews) An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

America’s infrastructure collapsing into Third World status

This quote at a recent rally in  Michigan is very true- “”we used to make cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are being made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”” Nor can you safely drink public water almost anywhere in America, as it’s almost universally contaminated with chromium-6, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.”

To Read More: http://www.naturalnews.com/055408_chromium-6_drinking_water_chemical_suicide.html

Personally – We are the solution, not big govt, we must act to be informed, understand risk, and act.  You can Act NOW! Just some suggestions:

Act NoW !

  1. Get Your Water Tested – We recommend the Well Water or City Water Test Kit.
  2. Complete a Hazardous Survey Around Your Home!
  3. Get or Install a Point of Use Water Treatment Device  (Treated Water for Pennies a Gallon) !

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