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.
Over the past year, Extension educators around the state connected with a variety of youth audiences to teach them about water quality and help them to be more aware of where their drinking water comes from.
NRCS will be able to provide funding assistance directly to Pennsylvania farmers and landowners in Fiscal Year 2016 to help them implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program, the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program, and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center for sign-up information.
A new study reveals a pressing need to better understand water use in America's rivers, with implications for drought-stricken regions of the country. Findings from the study showed that virtually all of the water entering the Wabash River in Indiana during summer months is withdrawn and then returned to the waterway.
Understanding the role of freshwater lakes and reservoirs in the global carbon cycle is the focus of ongoing research. Lakes make up less than 3 percent of the landscape, but they bury more carbon than all the world's oceans combined. In the global carbon cycle, fresh water lakes and reservoirs are hot spots of carbon cycling and important players in the global carbon cycle.
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
The National Ground Water Association’s Protect Your Groundwater Day was held on September 8, 2015. Groundwater protection strategies are especially important in Pennsylvania which is home to over one million private water wells and springs, but is one of the few states that do not provide statewide regulations to protect these rural drinking water supplies.