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

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.


Well Water Testing Common Well Water Problems – Based on over 20 Years Experience First Step Water Testing

Common Water Well Owners Problems- The Need for Well Water Testing

This website was development to provide a quick summary and reference related to some of the most common well water problems that are encountered or reported.

Problem 1 – I tested my water and it is Total Coliform Positive and I was told the water is not potable.  What do I do?  What treatment system do I need?  Is my family safe?

Have a professional or licensed well driller inspect the well and conduct a shock disinfection of the well and distribution system (add a high dose of chlorine to the water, recirculate, and then flush it out – but not into an on-site sewage treatment system. After the well and system have been flushed, the water should be immediately tested for total coliform bacteria.
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Problem 2 – My water is black and sometimes red or orange.  What toxic chemical causes this ?  Should I be buying bottled water??

Get the water tested – it is most likely iron and manganese. If you have never had the water tested, we would recommend a relatively comprehensive screening water test.   The color of the water will depend on the pH and form of the iron and manganese.  If the water enters the house clear and becomes discolored with time, the metals are dissolved in the water in a reduced form.  If the water enters the home slightly discolored and the color gets darker or deeper, it is probably a combination of reduced (dissolved) and oxidized (particle) form.   The solution will depend on the water testing results, but if you have an odor to the water or slime coatings the problem may also be caused by a slime or iron bacteria. Learn More at Iron/Manganese or Slime Bacteria.

Problem 3: My well water gets dirty after it rains and I get intermittent bacterial positive tests.

This could be a problem with the well casing, well construction, pitless adapter, or well cap.  The first action may be to inspect the well, change the well cap to a sanitary well cap, and conduct a shock disinfection.  If this does not correct the problem, you may need to inspect the well.  This would be a camera survey of the wellbore and you would want to check for problems related to the pitless adapter, welds on the casing, integrity of the steel casing, and the presence of cascading or intermittent water bearing zones just below the casing or driveshoe. 

Most Significant Problem
Improperly sited and constructed wells create a significant risk.  These wells short-circuit the natural flow of freshwater and in many cases can facilitate groundwater contamination.  The state of Pennsylvania and others need to create a program to fix private wells that make our Waters vulnerable to contamiantion. For PA – this was not caused by the wellowner, but caused by the lack of vision and proper regulations related to the siting and construction of private wells and permitting private wells to be installed in areas where available data suggested or indicated elevated levels of arsenic, iron, manganese, barium, and even saline water.  We need to act as a community to fix this problem and use funding to Fix Poorly Constructed Private Wells – Remember We ALL Live Downstream – Be Part of the Solution – Help Fix and Protect OUR Waters. (Oram, 2013)

Content of this webpage is copyrighted by B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc – Permission was granted to use this information to create this webpage.  The source of the information is the Private Well Owner Guide – Well Water Testing.


Website Provided for Educational Purpose.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  We are trying to keep Well Water in Pennsylvania the Keystone State Clean, Healthy, and Safe.

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