Penn State Extension Water Workshop a Big Hit!

Posted: August 15, 2010

New Penn State Extension Water program offered on How to Interpret Pre and Post Gas Drilling Water Test Reports
Bryan Swistock at Bradford Program

Bryan Swistock at Bradford Program

by Jim Clark

Penn State Extension Agent in Bradford County, Mark Madden, and Extension Water Specialist from the School of Forest Resources presented a workshop to a packed house on how to read water test results on Thursday, August 5, 2011, near Towanda, PA.

Extension Agent, Mark Madden, started the session by explaining important construction aspects of private water systems and the importance of having them tested. Pennsylvania and Alaska are the only two states left with no private water well location or construction standards. This means that the management of private water wells and springs are voluntary and the responsibility of the landowner. The development of the Marcellus shale has raised concern among private water supply owners about possible drinking water contamination and many of them are having their water tested. Unfortunately, several of the private water lab test results returned to landowners are difficult to understand and this is why Penn State Extension developed this workshop.

Extension Specialist, Bryan Swistock, shared with the crowd the many types of water laboratory test result packages and explained important points homeowners need to look for and understand. The EPA Drinking Water Standards are for public water supplies, but private water system owners can use them as a guide for evaluating the numbers on their water test. Swistock explained the contaminants that would be most likely to occur if a private water supply is impacted by natural gas well drilling and shared the drinking water standard measurement for each. The workshop ended with countless audience questions being answered by Swistock and Madden. Penn State Extension will be offering the “Water Test Results Interpretation Workshops” throughout the year. Please check the website Events page for locations and dates.