A couple married for 61 years brought a water test report for clarification into the Extension office. They have tested their well periodically for years and for the first time they had a positive total coliform bacteria test. They had the usual questions, “is that bad? (we haven’t been sick or anything).” And, “what should we do about it?”
The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) has just released "Exploring the Environmental Effects of Shale Gas Development in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed." This report has been submitted to CBP Management Board and a response has been requested on its specific recommendations. A copy of the report, and all other STAC reports, can be found on the STAC website at: http://www.chesapeake.org/stac/. Additionally, STAC is developing a Marcellus Shale factsheet that will summarize the key points of interest and concern with shale gas development.
Droughts occur periodically over much of the United States. In Pennsylvania, severe droughts have occurred more frequently over the past two decades. During droughts, water supplies often become critically low. In some cases, whole communities are either without water or have very limited supplies. Water use restrictions are often imposed on the residents of these communities.
It is the middle of winter and most likely water pollution, droughts, and groundwater levels are not things that you are thinking about right now. For most people these things tend to be more “warm weather” topics…but should they be?
StormwaterPA's video case studies are powerful, educational tools. Recently, we have begun efforts on strengthening the educational impact of our videos by incorporating them into EcoExpress.org, which is our organization GreenTrek Network's environmental education program. EcoExpress.org is an online resource center designed specifically for local teachers and students. It features streaming documentaries and lesson plan content associated to Pennsylvania's Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology. Science education expert Anita Brook Dupree develops lesson plans associated with our videos.
The importance of biological parameters as indications of the health of the river is highlighted in the State of the Susquehanna Report, but the principles are applicable to any stream or river.
EPA has released the "National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change," which describes how EPA's water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change and provides long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations. The strategy, which builds upon EPA's first climate change and water strategy released in 2008, focuses on five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and working with Tribes. It emphasizes working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders, developing information and tools, incorporating adaptation into core programs, and managing risks of impacts including from extreme weather events. The 2012 strategy also includes goals and strategic actions for EPA in 10 geographic climate regions.
Did you know that milk is made up of 87% water?
For most people living in rural areas, collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage must be accomplished on site. Here are some tips to prevent problems with your system.
The Delaware River Basin Commission this week released its Annual Report highlighting its accomplishments and challenges from 2011 and celebrating the Commission’s 50th Anniversary.
WaterSense has developed WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices, to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use, help facilities establish an effective water management program and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use.
Do you have an old well on your property that isn’t used anymore? Pennsylvania has one of the largest rural populations of any state in the country, and most rural populations depend on private water systems for drinking water. So it is common to find old, unused wells throughout the state.
Do you have water treatment equipment in your home? Do you NEED water treatment equipment in your home? Surveys have found that about 60 percent of the homes in Pennsylvania served by a private water system such as a well, spring, or cistern, have some type of water treatment equipment.
Pursuant to an order from a U.S. District Court and as required by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recommended new recreational water quality criteria for states that will help protect peoples’ health during visits to beaches and waters year round. The science-based criteria provide information to help states improve public health protection by addressing a broader range of illness symptoms, better accounting for pollution after heavy rainfall, providing more protective recommendations for coastal waters, encouraging early alerts to beachgoers and promoting rapid water testing. The criteria released today do not impose any new requirements; instead, they are a tool that states can choose to use in setting their own standards.
Rural Public Water Supplies face many problems and it has been my experience that solutions are always better, the more people you involve in their creation. Typically in PA, rural public water supplies operate independently, managing their own individual systems, and come together only periodically for trade association meetings, trainings, etc. Rural water systems do not typically even connect with nearby water systems that share their watershed upstream or downstream, or with watershed groups that may be working on restoration efforts in their source water areas, or with county planners, etc., but that is beginning to change in PA.
Water infrastructure may be considered “gray” or “green.” Gray infrastructure refers to traditional practices for storm water management and wastewater treatment. Green infrastructure refers to sustainable pollution reducing practices that also provide other ecosystem services such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions or increased flood control. Examples of green infrastructure include grass and forest buffers, use of porous materials for paving, as well as small-scale practices like rain gardens and rain barrels. EPA scientists are studying green infrastructure to determine the most effective and efficient practices for water treatment, management and transport. Learn more at the Green Infrastructure Research Website.
It has been getting chillier at night. Winter will soon be here and when that happens, temperatures drop considerably and can cause freezing water issues both indoors and out. So here are some tips to help you avoid common problems in winter and hopefully prevent frustration for you, your pets, your livestock and the wild birds that you may like to feed.
Did you know that one-quarter of all U.S. homes have septic systems? Yours may be one of them. If you’re not properly maintaining your septic system, you’re not only hurting the environment, you’re putting your family’s health at risk—and may be flushing thousands of dollars down the drain! EPA’s SepticSmart initiative is a nation-wide public education effort that aims to inform homeowners living on properties serviced by septic systems on the importance of properly maintaining their septic system and provide valuable resources to help homeowners make important decisions regarding their wastewater management needs. The initiative also provides resources for outreach organizations and government leaders who seek promote this message locally.
Penn State Extension worked with the Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Clearfield Conservation District to implement a Colcum Foundation Grant in eight counties in North Central Pennsylvania. The project was geared toward low to moderate income residents to assist them in obtaining pre-gas well drilling, chain of custody, water test reports.
The streets of New Brighton’s commercial district will soon have a unique new addition to their storm drains.