Testing and Treatment

Information on private drinking and residential water testing and treatment, including how to use the Penn State drinking water test kit, use of dyes to confirm septic system failures, on-lot site evaluation and on-lot filtration.

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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
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
A screenshot of the DWIT tool
Drinking Water Interpretation Tool (DWIT) - Articles Articles
Use this online tool to create a customized interpretation of complex data found on any water test report. More
Water treatment system Photo: Tom McCarty, Penn State
Maintaining Home Water Treatment Systems - Articles Articles
Most health risks in water and taste or odor can be resolved with home water treatment. However, treatment systems only work if properly maintained! More
Proper Water Well Construction
Proper Water Well Construction - Articles Articles

Proper Water Well Construction

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

Sanitary water well caps and a grout seal around the casing can prevent surface water contamination of water wells. More
Coliform Bacteria
Coliform Bacteria - Articles Articles

Coliform Bacteria

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

This article describes what coliform bacteria are, where they come from and how to remove them from drinking water. More
Iron and Manganese in Private Water Systems Iron and Manganese in Private Water Systems - Articles

Iron and Manganese in Private Water Systems

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

Iron and manganese cause stains and tastes in water. They can be removed with several treatment processes described in this article. More
Information Sources for Water Well Owners
Information Sources for Water Well Owners - Articles Articles
This article provides some online resources where water well owners can access information about their water well or regional groundwater resources. More
Hydrogen Sulfide (Rotten Egg Odor) in Water Wells Hydrogen Sulfide (Rotten Egg Odor) in Water Wells - Articles
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that gives water a distinctive “rotten egg” odor. Various treatment options are discussed in this article. More
Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction, and Treatment
Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction, and Treatment - Articles Articles
Roof-catchment cisterns are systems used to collect and store rainwater for household and other uses. More
Shock Chlorination of Wells and Springs
Shock Chlorination of Wells and Springs - Articles Articles

Shock Chlorination of Wells and Springs

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

Shock chlorination can be used to disinfect water supplies that have been contaminated as a result of a contamination incident. More
Common Water Test Parameters Related to Natural Gas Drilling
Common Water Test Parameters Related to Natural Gas Drilling - Articles Articles
Water test reports of water near gas drilling activity generally have these common parameters. More
Drilling a New Well
Drilling a New Well - Articles Articles

Drilling a New Well

Bryan Swistock

A guide for private well owners on proper well location and construction. More
Interpreting Irrigation Water Tests
Interpreting Irrigation Water Tests - Articles Articles
Basic interpretation of how various water quality parameters can influence plant growth during irrigation. More
Chain of Custody Water Testing
Chain of Custody Water Testing - Articles Articles
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has a laboratory accreditation program for water testing labs to ensure data accuracy. More
A Quick Guide to Groundwater in Pennsylvania
A Quick Guide to Groundwater in Pennsylvania - Articles Articles
This publication will help you understand where groundwater comes from, how it is used, and how the future use of groundwater in Pennsylvania is at risk. More
Marcellus shale drilling in progress, Beaver Run Reservoir, Westmoreland County. Credit: Robert Donnan.
Water’s Journey Through the Shale Gas Processes - Articles Articles
Using publicly available information, we attempt to track and quantify current water use through the stages of the gas well development process. More
A small roadside spring located along a state forest road in northcentral Pennsylvania.
Roadside Springs - Articles Articles

Roadside Springs

Bryan Swistock, Susan Boser, Mark Madden, Diane Oleson, M.S., Amy Galford, Gary William Micsky, James Andrew Clark

This article discusses a research study on the water quality and use of numerous roadside springs across Pennsylvania. More
Certified water testing labs are available throughout the state to provide accurate water quality results for homeowners.
Testing Your Drinking Water - Articles Articles

Testing Your Drinking Water

Bryan Swistock

Homeowners using wells, springs or cisterns as their water supply should consider having their water tested routinely. More
Private Water Systems FAQs
Private Water Systems FAQs - Articles Articles
Frequently asked questions about private wells, cisterns and springs. More
How to Interpret a Water Analysis Report
How to Interpret a Water Analysis Report - Articles Articles
This article outlines some of the major parameters you may see on the analysis and assists you in understanding the numbers on a water test report. More
Lead in Drinking Water
Lead in Drinking Water - Articles Articles

Lead in Drinking Water

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D., Amy Galford

Learn how to determine if your drinking water contains too much lead, and discover ways to reduce lead in your water. More
Magnet inside a plastic tube, a device sold with claims to treat water problems.
Magnetic Water Treatment Devices - Articles Articles
Consumers should use caution when considering water treatment devices that claim to use electromagnetic fields to change the molecular makeup of water problems. More
Corrosive Water Problems
Corrosive Water Problems - Articles Articles

Corrosive Water Problems

Bryan Swistock

Corrosive water can dissolve metal plumbing components causing unsafe levels of copper and lead and pinhole leaks. More
Using Low-Yielding Wells
Using Low-Yielding Wells - Articles Articles

Using Low-Yielding Wells

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

There are several steps that can be used to increase the adequacy of a low-yielding well. More
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