Susan Boser explains how to interpret a water test report at the Mercer County Drinking Water Clinic (Photo: Bryan Swistock, Penn State)
Forty-five attendees from Mercer and surrounding counties recently learned about how local land uses can impact their water supply and the importance of installing a sanitary well cap to keep surface water and insects from entering a well. Common water quality issues and various water treatment options were also discussed at the two-hour long workshop presented by Susan Boser and Bryan Swistock of the Water Resources Extension team.
Participants were able to bring in a water sample from their private well or spring and have it tested at the workshop for educational purposes and to learn more about their water supply. Tests were performed on site for pH, total dissolved solids and nitrates and samples were incubated overnight for results of total coliform and E. coli bacteria.
At the end of the workshop, 85% of participants surveyed indicated that they learned at least some new information and 63% planned to take action on their private water supply.
Funding for these water testing workshops is made possible through the statewide Master Well Owner Network program through an education grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information on managing private water supplies including articles and videos visit the Penn State Extension Drinking and Residential Water website.