WREN is pleased to share the article WREN wrote about RAIN – the River Alert Information Network, source water protection/water quality monitoring, which just appeared in the Sept 2012 issue of the PA State Association of Boroughs News magazine. The article originally appeared in our WREN E-newsletter. Since their theme for the Sept issue was outreach and effective communications, we were happy to oblige PSAB’s request, as source water protection coalitions like RAIN are proving to be an important communications and public education vehicle about community water issues. The PA State Association of Boroughs represents over 900 boroughs with over 2.6 million Pennsylvania residents.
Penn State Extension is offering an Aquatic Pesticide Course for pond applicators that is approved for three Category 9 recertification credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Please note that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Decentralized Wastewater Program website has moved. According to EPA, “the septic web content has been migrated and reorganized to better serve key stakeholder groups.”
Suppose you are thinking about buying a house with a basement, how can you tell if it might have water problems?
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have a Department of Environmental Protection accredited water testing laboratory at Penn State University.
Saturday Sept 29th from 10 am – 2pm is the National DEA Drug Take Back Date. There are hundreds, if not thousands of participating police departments and sites in Pennsylvania. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Dispose of unwanted medications properly to protect our water and families. You can make a difference in our communities by safely disposing of unused or expired medications (loose pills, creams, liquids and pill packs). Prescription, over-the-counter and veterinary medications will be accepted. Visit the National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search to find a site near you - all you need is your zip code!
Low concentrations of 51 different contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, hormones and organic wastewater compounds, were detected in streams and streambed sediments throughout Pennsylvania. In addition to the types and concentrations of contaminants, likely contaminant sources as well as potential impact on aquatic life are discussed.
The tap water we all take for granted didn't necessarily start out so clean. It may have passed through farm fields and construction sites, over ice-covered roads laden with salt, through over-fertilized lawns and broken septic fields, or past a leaking underground storage tank before it was pumped into the local water treatment plant. If public water suppliers can help keep these and other man-made influences in check prior to the waters reaching their treatment facilities, then the cost to monitor and treat raw water for human consumption at the plants is significantly reduced. Protecting drinking water sources from contamination can be a challenging task in the lower Susquehanna River region, where 50 percent of the land is in agriculture, and water-cleansing forest cover is the lowest compared to other portions of the river basin. Read more in the WREN August 2012 E-NEWS FEATURE
Reducing water consumption can benefit Pennsylvania residents in many ways. Water conserving appliances can also save your family money.
With drought gripping our nation, protecting groundwater through conservation, as well as contamination prevention, takes on added importance during this year’s September 11 Protect Your Groundwater Day, an event established several years ago by the National Ground Water Association. “Using water wisely is important no matter where one lives. Drought simply underscores that groundwater is a finite resource worth protecting,” said NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens. Treyens said preventing contamination of groundwater is something every person can do through simple adjustments in their daily habits. Find out what you can do to protect this important resource. Your drinking water depends on it.
The itch of a mosquito bite is one of the common nuisances of summer. But with mosquito populations seemingly exploding this year -- and cases of mosquito-borne West Nile virus reaching unprecedented numbers nationally -- it's a good idea to take a few simple precautions to reduce the chances of being bitten.
EPA has released a new technical resource to improve stream assessment and restoration for watershed practitioners. A Function-Based Framework for Stream Assessment and Restoration Projects lays out a framework for approaching stream assessment and restoration projects that focuses on understanding the suite of stream functions at a site in the context of what is happening in the watershed. The framework is an expansive resource covering watershed and river corridor processes, and the document provides several hypothetical examples and a detailed discussion of how the framework could be used to develop and assess stream restoration projects.
Droughts can be a stressful time for rural homeowners and farmers who rely on groundwater wells for a water supply. The availability of water underground is often invisible to the homeowner creating nervousness about whether the water supply will continue to meet the water needs of the home or farm.
The use of cover crops on the farm can slow erosion, improve soil quality, enhance nutrient retention, aide in moisture retention and compete against weeds. These benefits, and many others, are well understood by a growing number of notill and reduced-tillage producers in Pennsylvania who pay particular attention to their soils and off-site impacts.
A new, interactive, inquiry-based lesson plan has been created to help older youth better understand water quality issues that surround small watersheds and the decision making processes that go into improving those water quality issues.
The Department of Environmental Protection today issued a drought watch for 15 Western Pennsylvania counties. A drought watch declaration is the first and least severe level of the state’s three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary five percent reduction in nonessential water use and puts large water consumers on notice to begin planning for the possibility of reduced water supplies.
How do you heat your home? Oil? Gas? Electricity? How about cooling it? Do you have electric central air conditioning? What type of water heater do you have? Are those utility bills eating into your paycheck? Have you ever thought of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system?
During this hot summer, residents of lake communities and private pond owners are enjoying swimming, boating and fishing in the lake or pond. Your enjoyment of the pond or lake depends on maintaining the water quality of the pond or lake.
Ag Progress Days are just around the corner! Be sure to check out Penn State's Agriculture and Environment Center while you are there. The Agriculture and Environment Center is focusing on one best management practice for water quality; riparian buffers. Stop by to learn all you need to know about riparian buffers and what they can do for you and your land.
The Fieldprint Calculator is a free online tool for growers to voluntarily and securely analyze how their management choices impact natural resources and operational efficiency. Field to Market continues to learn about the relationships between agricultural practices and sustainability outcomes. Updates to the Calculator will be made to continue incorporating the best available information about these impacts.