Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water

Learn about the Master Well Owner Network (MWON) online course that trains volunteers to teach about safe drinking water and the proper management of private water wells, springs, and cisterns.
Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water - Articles


In 2004, Penn State Extension and several partner agencies created the Master Well Owners Network (MWON), which trains 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.

Volunteer Requirements

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 coordinator. This one-page report can be completed online or mailed to the coordinator. It should only take a few minutes to complete, but is vital to the success of our program.

The Master Well Owners Network online 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.).

How to Register

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 and link 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.