This is your chance to be heard on the value and importance of water resources in Pennsylvania! Researchers from Penn State along with several other partner agencies are conducting an online survey of Pennsylvania residents about the state's water resources.
The next water resources webinar sponsored by Penn State Extension will focus on the proper testing and management of private water wells and springs near gas drilling activity.
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.
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift that extends from the average citizen to government institutions. More and more, Americans are focusing on the dichotomy between the need for clean water and functioning sewer systems, and the costs and issues associated with building or updating infrastructure to support those needs—development that potentially can create clean water problems due to runoff.
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.
The next Penn State Water Resources webinar will focus on the proper management of onlot septic systems. Dana Rizzo, a water resources extension educator with Penn State Extension and the Westmoreland Conservation District will present this 60-minute webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from noon to 1 PM.
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.
Penn State Extension sponsored or assisted with nine pond and lake workshops throughout Pennsylvania in 2012 which were attended by 433 pond and lake owners or managers representing over 1,300 acres of ponds and lakes.
Penn State Extension will hold a workshop, Water Test Result Interpretation, on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. The workshop will be held at the Loyalsock District Office, 6735 Route 220, Dushore, PA 18614, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Participants will learn how to understand water test reports, as well as drinking water standards, chain-of-custody, various water test parameters, and comparing test results with standards.
Penn State Extension still has about 80 free water test kits available for Pennsylvania dairy producers. These kits are part of an extension educational program that in part encourages livestock producers to regularly test their water supply.
Youth Water Educators from around the Mid-Atlantic Region gathered together in Harrisburg, PA for a day of learning, networking, and sharing resources. The Dive Deeper Summit, hosted by Penn State Extension on September 27, 2012, was the first of its kind for most participants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. Available at http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway, the How’s My Waterway app and website uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies. The release of the app and website helps mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which Congress enacted on October 18, 1972, giving citizens a special role in caring for the nation’s water resources. Forty years later, EPA is providing citizens with a technology-based tool to expand that stewardship.
Marcellus gas drilling and other emerging water resources issues will be covered during monthly Web-based seminars produced by Penn State Extension starting this fall. Topics over the next 12 months will include water testing, septic systems, groundwater quality, water education, West Nile Virus and managing ponds and lakes.
A program of automaker Lexus and children's publishing company Scholastic, the Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest designed to inspire and empower middle and high school students in the United States to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. In its sixth year, the program will award a total of $500,000 in grants and scholarships. The competition is open to students in grades 6-12 who are either registered and home-schooled or enrolled in a public or accredited private school, and who are legal residents of the U.S. or the District of Columbia. Teams of students can enter if they are part of an afterschool science or environmental club, but the challenge is not open to clubs outside of school.The submission deadline for Challenge 1 (land/water) is October 29, 2012; the deadline for Challenge 2 (air/climate) is December 17, 2012.
A new issue of On Tap, the National Environmental Services Center’s drinking water and wastewater magazine, is now available . The fall/winter 2012 issue features articles about environmental justice, how to become more water and energy efficient, the second part of an in-depth rate setting article, and a look at two emerging issues: phosphorus and source water monitoring in areas where hydraulic fracturing is used in natural gas extraction. As always, we encourage you to use the information in On Tap in your community. All we ask is that you give us credit and let us know how you used it.