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

DCNR Announces Improvements To PA’s PaGWIS – Private Well Owner Database

DCNR Announces Improvements To PA’s PaGWIS
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently announced improvements to the PA Groundwater Information System (PaGWIS) private water well database. PaGWIS is a repository of half a million water well records dating back to 1965. Changes to the database include the addition of more than 1,600 springs found in the Commonwealth, and improved search tools, data packages, and report formats.

To find out more, please see the link below:
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/news/DCNR_20032750.pdf

Get Your Water Tested 

Pennsylvania Ticks – Yes they are a problem

 

Pennsylvania has led the nation in  confirmed Lyme disease cases each year since 2011.   When detected early, Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases can be   treated. Left untreated, tick borne   diseases can cause a whole host of problems. Early diagnosis is important in  preventing long term complications.

After coming inside, always check yourself for ticks. The target areas, head and hair, armpits, back of knees, and waist line/middle of the body,  are prime spots to find a tick as they seek out out-of-the-way crevices and warm spaces. Look closely, they are  smaller than a freckle.

If a tick does manage to attach itself   to you, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the  tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady,  even pressure. Avoid twisting  or jerking. Clean the bite area and see a physician.   If possible – Save the Tick!

TickBrochure_FINAL

More about Lyme Disease and Ticks

Professional Forest Industry Association, ProFIA “Fuel for Friends – Looking for Families

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.

Kind Regards,

Kelley

Kelley S. Thornton
Forest Specialist

Wayne Conservation District
648 Park Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

Phone: 570.253.0930 ext. 3954
Email: kthornton@waynecountypa.gov

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

 

Planting the SEEDS in Wayne County, Pennsylvania

SEEDS would like to invite you to attend our annual membership meeting on Tues night Sept 15 at The Cooperage, and to continue to support us by being there as we welcome all from the community to learn more about SEEDS and the work we do.

Doors open at 6 pm, and the Cooperage Café will be open to purchase dinner. Come and enjoy a casual dinner gathering with friends old and new. BYOB. (The Cooperage is located at 1030 Main Street in downtown Honesdale.)

Our annual meeting will start at 7 pm and will feature highlights from the past year, and special guests Cheryl and Stu Badner, of Corporate Waste Consultants. They will speak about their sustainability initiative at Honesdale’s Roots and Rhythm festival. Learn how much progress has been made! Their success makes it easier to imagine successfully changing behavior and attitudes that will save our environment.

This meeting is open to all SEEDS members as well as anyone from the community who is interested in learning more about SEEDS.  It is expected to last approximately one hour. We encourage our members to bring along a friend who may be interested in joining!

A $20 donation will get you one of our new beautiful green SEEDS T-shirts! First come, first serve!

If you have any questions, please email jocelyn@seedsgroup.net.

You may review our annual minutes from last year’s meeting here: http://seedsgroup.net/about/seeds-most-recent-annual-general-membership-meeting-minutes/

Kindly RSVP. Indicate if you are coming early to purchase dinner so I can give the Cafe a headcount for food preparation.

Thank you! Hope to see you there!

-Jocelyn

Jocelyn Cramer

Executive Director of SEEDS

Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support

www.seedsgroup.net

Interesting Training Options

Energy Audit Training
Fracking and Oil and Gas Development (15 hours)
Fracking Consequences (2 hr)
Building a Sustainable Future (1 hr)