Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water
More than three million rural Pennsylvania residents use a well, spring, or cistern as their primary water source. Pennsylvania does not regulate private water systems. Research has shown that more than 50 percent of these private water systems fail to meet at least one drinking water standard.
In 2004, Penn State Extension and several partner agencies created the Master Well Owners Network (MWON), which train s volunteers who are dedicated to promoting safe drinking water in Pennsylvania.
Through the use of videos and readings, this self-paced, asynchronous course will teach you how to determine the proper location for a well, how to assess potential pollution sources, what types of testing should be completed and how often, and possible treatment strategies.
At the end of each section, you will take a quiz. Once you pass all of the quizzes (cumulative) with a 70 percent or better, you will earn a certificate, allowing you to join the Master Well Owners Network.
As a volunteer, you must be willing to attempt to pass along basic private water system management knowledge that you learn during your training to approximately 50 or more private water system owners within two years after you are trained. This education can be done by personal conversations, presentations, newsletters, fairs, or other methods.
All volunteers must promise to submit at least one accomplishment report every year to the MWON c oordinator. This one - page report can be completed online or mailed to the c oordinator. It should only take a few minutes to complete but is vital to the success of our program.
The Master Well Owners Network course is available at no cost, given that you agree to complete the course and adhere to the guidelines of being a volunteer. A volunteer must not be employed by any company that provides paid services to private water supply owners (i.e. water testing companies, water treatment companies, water well drillers, etc.).
To register for this course at no cost and become a volunteer, fill out the MWON application.
Once the MWON coordinator receives and approves your application, he/she will contact you and provide you with a discount code for the course. Do not enroll in the course until after you fill out the application and receive an email from the coordinator.
Note: If would like to learn more about private water supplies, but do not plan to become a volunteer, please see the Private Wells and Water Systems Management course, which contains similar content but doesn't require you to become a volunteer.
You will learn how to:
- identify common groundwater problems
Frequently Asked Questions
Some courses also provide credits that can go towards professional certifications. None of the online courses offer credits that can go on a college transcript.
Please refer to the course description to learn if a specific course offers certificates and/or credits towards professional certification.
The definition of a passing grade varies from course to course. Once you register for an online course, please log in to learn about a specific course’s grading criteria.
Also, keep in mind that not all courses offer certificates. Please refer to the course description to learn whether or not a specific course offers a certificate.