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Recent News

June 26, 2017

Rain or shine has new meaning thanks to an innovative, inexpensive and simple tactic that will really change how people think about watering their lawns. The tactic? A straightforward road sign.

June 26, 2017

A highly toxic water pollutant, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), last year caused a number of U.S. communities to close their drinking water supplies. PFOA contamination also is a pervasive problem worldwide. A research team now reports an inexpensive and renewable material that rapidly removes PFOA from water. The novel treatment effectively eliminates the micropollutant to below 10 parts per trillion, far below US Environmental Protection Agency and all state health advisory limits.

June 26, 2017

Stormwater which is the water that runs off of houses, streets, parking lots, and any other hard surface during rain events, has been identified as a major cause of water pollution in recent years.

June 19, 2017

Radon is a tasteless, colorless, odorless gas that comes from the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in the ground. Radon can get into the air you breathe indoors and into the water you drink, and can also be found in small amounts in outdoor air.

June 19, 2017

How healthy will Earth's ecosystems be in 2027, 2067 and beyond? It's an important question to ask, especially on World Environment Day, June 5.

June 19, 2017

Research shows wide knowledge gaps about how water infrastructure works. Many Americans don't know how clean water gets to their homes and especially what happens after wastewater is flushed away, knowledge that is vital in confronting challenges including droughts and failing infrastructure that can lead to contamination.

June 19, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) warns that cuts to environmental and public health programs in the proposed budget from House Republicans could put air and water quality at risk. In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees, Secretary Patrick McDonnell outlined six key ways the proposed budget would impact public health, safety, and economic development.

June 19, 2017

The City of Lancaster will host the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) certification Level 1 training on July 24-25. CBLP is a new, voluntary, regional credential for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes in the Bay watershed.

With funding from USDA, researchers aim to develop a model for engaging stakeholders and communities to ensure adequate water quality and quantity. Image: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
June 12, 2017

A group of institutions led by Penn State has received nearly $2.2 million for the first year of a planned four-year, $5 million project aimed at developing a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture. Partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

June 12, 2017

A nationwide analysis of water use over the past 30 years finds that there is a disconnect between rural and urban areas, with most urban areas becoming more water efficient and most rural areas becoming less and less efficient over time.

Well in Central Pennsylvania. Photo: Bryan Swistock, Penn State University
June 12, 2017

On May 31, 2017, the Penn State Water Resources Extension team hosted a webinar on Lessons from Over 30 Years of Water Well Research and Outreach in Pennsylvania. The presenter was Bryan Swistock, a Water Resources Extension Associate with Penn State Extension in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Aquatic herbicide application. Photo: Bryan Swistock, Penn State University
June 5, 2017

Over half of Pennsylvania pond owners indicate that nuisance algae and aquatic plants are a problem for their pond. Penn State surveys have found that about 40% of pond owners with nuisance algae and plants have used aquatic herbicides to control the growth.

June 5, 2017

If left unchecked, stormwater can add pollutants like soil, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and pathogens into our streams and rivers. This may lead to health impacts, unsightly and unpleasantly smelling waterways, and a degraded environment.

June 5, 2017

The amount of dissolved oxygen contained in the water -- an important measure of ocean health -- has been declining for more than 20 years, reveals a new analysis of decades of data on oceans across the globe.

June 5, 2017

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to the natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists recently found after a six-year study of the impact of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

May 31, 2017

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell has warned the Pennsylvania congressional delegation that the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to environmental protection and clean energy programs will threaten Pennsylvania residents and businesses.

May 31, 2017

The degree of pollution of rivers resulting from human activities is assessed using different biotic indices. The latter reflect the ecological status of a river based on the quantity and diversity of organisms selected as bioindicators, due to their ecological preferences and tolerance to pollution. This is the case of diatoms, algae consisting of a single cell surrounded by a silica skeleton, recommended by researchers as one of the ideal bioindicators for rivers and lakes.

May 31, 2017

Many US waterways carry a variety of pollutants, but not much is known about the composition or health effects of these chemical combinations. A new in-depth study, however, is providing insight as it shows the mixtures are more complex than expected and contain compounds that could potentially harm aquatic species.

May 31, 2017

A recent study made headlines with the conclusion that more than one third (35.6 percent) of U.S. households will find their water bills have grown unaffordable over the next five years if rates rise at projected levels. This will nearly triple the number of households that currently cannot afford water services, per the study.

Attendees at the 2017 PA Groundwater Symposium listen to a concurrent presentation by Susan Boser from Penn State Extension on private water wells. Photo credit: Diane Oleson, Penn State Extension.
May 31, 2017

Groundwater professionals from across Pennsylvania gathered on May 3, 2017 at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College, PA for the 2017 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium. The symposium was again held in recognition of National Drinking Water Week to highlight the importance of groundwater to both public and private drinking water supplies across Pennsylvania.