New Program to Help Interpret Drinking Water Test Reports

Posted: August 1, 2010

Testing drinking water wells is important, but it is also necessary to understand the results.

As the natural gas industry ramps up, it is important to have drinking well water tested prior to gas drilling near one's property.  Testing of the wells can be done by one of the many labs accredited by the PA Department of Environmental Protection and offer to do third party or chain-of-custody water testing.  In many cases, water supplies may be tested by labs working with the gas drilling company as part of pre-drilling surveys.  Testing may also be done after drilling to determine if any impacts occurred on the water supply.  Interpreting the results from these water tests may not be so easy for the layperson.

A new program on "How to Interpret Pre and Post-Gas Drilling Water Test Reports" is being offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Master Well Owner Network (MWON).   Workshops will be on August 5 at the Towanda Gun Club in Towanda PA, and on August 11 at Elk Lake High School in Dimock PA. 

The purpose of these workshops is to help landowners understand the very complicated water test reports that are being supplied as part of most pre-drill water testing and some post drilling. Participants will learn about drinking water standards, chain-of-custody, the various water test parameters, and how to compare their results with standards.  In many cases, these tests identify pre-existing problems that homeowners may not have been aware of.  Basic water system management and how to treat pre-existing water quality problems will also be covered.

Both programs will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM and are free of charge.  The programs are funded and supported by Penn State Cooperative Extension, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association.  To register for the Towanda program, please call the Extension office at (570) 265-2896; for the Dimock program please call (570) 278-1158.