Private Water Systems

Information on private drinking and residential water systems, including well and septic system management, home treatment systems and keeping well and septic system records. Tips on cisterns, water softening and access to the H2OSolutions app.

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A sanitary well cap with a rubber seal is one way to help protect your groundwater. (Photo by Jennifer Fetter, Penn State)
Protect Your Groundwater, Protect Your Well! - News News
Over 1 million homes in Pennsylvania use groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. While not as visible as surface water, this water held in aquifers under the ground is an important resource to many in our state. More
Master Well Owner Volunteers interact with visitors at Ag Progress Days (Photo by Bryan Swistock, Penn State)
Applications Being Accepted for Next Penn State Master Well Owner Course - News News
Interested in learning more about and educating others in the proper management of private water systems? Consider applying for the Master Well Owner online course being offered by Penn State Extension! More
Flooding around your home and on the farm could be leading to issues you need to address. Image Credit: Jennifer Fetter
After the Flood – Recovery Considerations for Rural Pennsylvanians - Articles Articles

After the Flood – Recovery Considerations for Rural Pennsylvanians

Jennifer R Fetter, Leon Ressler, Andy Yencha

Parts of Pennsylvania were drenched with heavy rains and flooded streams recently. In addition to drying out wet basements, there are few important things that rural Pennsylvanian’s might want to pay special attention to. More
Water samples from workshop participants were incubated to determine the presence of Coliform bacteria.
Butler County Water Clinic Offers On-Site Testing to Participants - News News
A drinking water clinic was held in Butler County on May 15, where on-site water tests were performed to give participants an idea of their home water quality. More
Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water
Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water - Articles Articles
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. More
Penn State Extension's Master Watershed Steward Program was a recipient of a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. .
Master Watershed Stewards Win Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence - News News
The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program was recently awarded a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, presented annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. More
Testing for Total Dissolved Solids Photo:Susan Boser
Extension Presents at Lawrence/Mercer County ALLARM Water Workshop - News News
Participants learned about their private water system and had water samples tested on site. More
Northampton water workshop Photo: Peter Wulfhorst
Northampton Residents Learn About Drinking Water and Septic Management - News News
Users of these rural drinking water and wastewater systems are in need of educational resources because their management in Pennsylvania is the voluntary responsibility of each homeowner. More
York County Master Watershed Steward Graduates
Second Class of Master Watershed Stewards Graduate in York County - News News
We are excited to announce that York County’s second class of Master Watershed Steward trainees graduated and became official Master Watershed Stewards in March. More
Participants attend the Montour County Safe Drinking Water Clinic
Montour County Residents Learn How to Protect Their Drinking Water - News News
Fifty-three homeowners attended the workshop where they received water test reports and assistance in interpreting the testing results. More
Learning when, where and how to get your private well or spring water tested is the best way to know it's safe.
Safe Drinking Water Clinic - Workshops Workshops

Safe Drinking Water Clinic

Multiple Options Available

Free
Understand your drinking water supply. Learn how to protect, test, and treat water from wells & springs. More
New Project to Provide Training and Free Water Testing to MWON Volunteers New Project to Provide Training and Free Water Testing to MWON Volunteers - News
By gaining more information about their own water supply, Master Well Owner Network Volunteers will increase knowledge to educate others. More
Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water
Master Well Owners Network: Training Volunteers to Safeguard Drinking Water - Online Courses Online Courses
$49.00
The MWON online course trains volunteers to teach about safe drinking water and the proper management of private water wells, springs, and cisterns. More
Using Public Data to Understand Water Impacts during Shale-Gas Development
Using Public Data to Understand Water Impacts during Shale-Gas Development - Webinars Webinars
Free
Dr. Susan Brantley from Penn State presents resources available from an online shared compilation of water quality information from watershed groups, agencies and institutes of higher learning. More
Tradeoffs in Leasing Watershed Lands for Marcellus Drilling
Tradeoffs in Leasing Watershed Lands for Marcellus Drilling - Webinars Webinars
Free
Dr. Charlie Abdalla describes a study done in several PA communities near shale gas drilling with the potential to impact their water supply. More
Nebraska Water Well Grouting Study
Nebraska Water Well Grouting Study - Webinars Webinars

Nebraska Water Well Grouting Study

Watch Now

1 hour

Free
Tom Christopherson from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services discusses the results from a study of grout used to seal water wells. More
An Update to Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply
An Update to Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply - Webinars Webinars
Free
Bryan Swistock from Penn State looks at how shale gas drilling relates to private water supplies and the potential impacts. More
Regression Models to Explain Naturally Occurring Methane
Regression Models to Explain Naturally Occurring Methane - Webinars Webinars
Free
Seth Pelepko from the PA DEP discusses using a statistical model to explain the variability of methane levels occurring in groundwater. More
A Study of Pre-Drilling Water Quality in 700 Wells and Springs
A Study of Pre-Drilling Water Quality in 700 Wells and Springs - Webinars Webinars
Free
Jim Clark from Penn State Extension in McKean County explains the results of a study of groundwater in northcentral PA as it relates to shale gas drilling. More
McKean (center, with clipboard) teaches a lesson in wetland ecology for the Black Forest Conservation School in Potter County
Extension Water Team Welcomes New Educator Based in McKean County - News News
Heather McKean is the new Water Resources Extension Educator based in McKean County. More
Chris Schlegel is presented with the PA ANREP Natural Resource Champion Award by Extension Educator, Peter Wulfhorst
MWON Volunteer Wins Penn State Extension Award - News News
Master Well Owner, Chris Schlegel was recently honored with the Natural Resource Education Champion Award. More
MWON volunteer Bill Spigler provided a display on private water system maintenance at the Renfrew, PA Earth Day celebration in April 2017 (photo by Kathleen Seiler).
An Update of the Pennsylvania Master Well Owner Network (2016-2017) - News News
Highlighting accomplishments of Penn State's Master Well Owner Network over the past program year. More
Spring Development and Protection
Spring Development and Protection - Articles Articles

Spring Development and Protection

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

Springs occur wherever groundwater flows out from the earth’s surface. Springs typically occur along hillsides, low-lying areas, or at the base of slopes. More
Installing a drainfield. Photo:Bryan Swistock, Penn State University
Well and Septic System Management presented in Monroe County - News News
Approximately one million rural homes and farms across Pennsylvania utilize private wells for drinking water and onlot septic systems for wastewater disposal. More
Sanitary well caps are just one way to protect your drinking water. Photo credit: Bryan Swistock
Home Water and Septic Workshop - Workshops Workshops

Home Water and Septic Workshop

Multiple Options Available

Free
Understand your drinking water supply and septic systems. Learn how to protect, test, and treat water from wells and springs, and how to maintain and inspect your septic system. More
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