Many people live in subdivisions with storm water ponds, which collect water from the neighborhood and help keep pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides and pet waste from getting into the broader environment. Now, researchers have devised strategies to help homeowners limit their pollution contribution.
Most drug residues discharged to wastewater come from private households. As contributors of pollution by Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), health establishments, such as hospitals, psychiatric and nursing facilities are hardly worth mentioning, say researchers. They merely discharge a small amount, and only at local level, of these significant contaminating substances to wastewater.
In celebration of National Drinking Water Week, Penn State Extension along with numerous partners are sponsoring the 2016 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College, PA on May 4, 2016.
The Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory recently released their updated summaries from water samples submitted to their drinking water program over the past year. Statewide and county summaries are available on their website.
The Penn State Master Well Owner Network (MWON) had another successful year of education for private water system owners across Pennsylvania.
A new interactive mapping tool provides predicted concentrations for 108 pesticides in streams and rivers across the Nation and identifies which streams are most likely to exceed water-quality guidelines for human health or aquatic life.
New water-tracing technology has been used in the Sydney Basin for the first time to determine how groundwater moves in the different layers of rock below the surface. The study provides a baseline against which any future impacts on groundwater from mining operations, groundwater abstraction or climate change can be assessed. The research has global relevance because this new technology provides a quick and cheap alternative to having to install numerous boreholes for groundwater monitoring.
Don Siegel of Syracuse University and his colleagues recently published, “Pre-drilling water-quality data of groundwater prior to shale gas drilling in the Appalachian Basin: Analysis of the Chesapeake Energy Corporation dataset” in the journal, Applied Geochemistry.
With the help of well-crafted advertising, disposable wet wipes—a product once used mainly for wiping baby bottoms—are now increasingly being used on adult bottoms. Although they are frequently labeled as “flushable,” the problems adult wet wipes have created for municipal sewer systems are well documented. Their increasing presence in sewers has created a major surge in clogged lines and sewage pumps for municipal wastewater utilities. The effect of flushed wipes on septic systems has received less attention but problems are also being widely reported.
Residential heating oil tanks are tanks that store fuel oil to provide space heating on premises where they are located. With proper tank management, spills and leaks can be avoided. Leaking tanks can contaminate public and private drinking water supplies, pollute soils, create the potential for fires and explosions, and subject tank owners to very expensive cleanup costs. A typical cleanup cost for spills and overfills from heating oil tanks ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 and is often not covered by typical homeowner’s insurance policies
Thirty-eight landowners, representing 64 acres of ponds, from Cumberland and surrounding counties participated in a Pond and Lake Management Workshop held at the Penn State Extension Office in Carlisle.
Trends in pesticide concentrations in 38 major rivers in the U.S. during 1992-2010 reflect large-scale trends in pesticide use and regulatory changes, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Penn State Extension held a Home Water and Septic System Workshop twice on September 29 in South Coatesville. A total of 74 people from 57 households attended, primarily from Chester County but also Lancaster and Cumberland Counties
A low-cost method of removing phosphates from tile drainage water has been developed, and may help protect lakes and streams. Using steel byproducts to trap phosphates in simulated tile drainage water, the researchers envision installing a steel-containing cartridge as an add-on to nitrate-capturing bioreactors.
In the battle against weeds, tillage is one of the strongest weapons at the disposal of organic or ecologically based farmers. But, depending on when it is used, tillage can also be a strong driver of nitrogen losses that contribute to groundwater pollution, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
The Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR)- Bureau of State Parks is very excited to announce the new Watershed Education Website. The website is a mobile-friendly, responsive design website designed to promote PA State Park’s Watershed Education (WE) program and provide WE trained teachers with more resources. The WE Website contains links to the new Pennsylvania Water Basin maps, Charts for teaching about streams (slope, volume of flow, and stream mapping), Watershed Tour PowerPoints, Watershed Delineation PowerPoints, and more.
Stroud Water Research Center and the University of Delaware have received a $475,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how the enormous amount of particulate organic nitrogen transported downstream during intense storms contributes to the overall nitrogen load, and what then happens to all the particulate materials.
Homeowners using wells, springs or cisterns as their water supply should consider having their water tested routinely. Anyone served by public water suppliers who is considering water treatment equipment would benefit, too.
The first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the United States, published today, provides a broad new assessment of runoff, flooding and storm water management options for use by such professionals as land use and town planners and water quality managers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is reminding Pennsylvanians about the importance of onlot septic system maintenance. This annual initiative, led by DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encourages residents to learn about and properly maintain their septic systems during SepticSmart Week from September 21 to 25.