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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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
What is sewage sludge and what can be done with it? What is sewage sludge and what can be done with it? - Articles
In this document, “sewage sludge” will refer to wastewater treatment solids generally, and “biosolids” will refer specifically to material that is suitable for land application. More
Interpreting Water Tests for Ponds and Lakes
Interpreting Water Tests for Ponds and Lakes - Articles Articles
This document describes parameters included in the Penn State pond/lake water test kit to help pond owners detect common water quality problems. More
Use of Dyes and Tracers to Confirm Septic System Failures Use of Dyes and Tracers to Confirm Septic System Failures - Articles
Commercially available dyes and tracers can be used where additional testing is needed to detect or confirm on-lot sewage disposal system malfunctions. More
Site Evaluation for On-lot Sewage Systems Site Evaluation for On-lot Sewage Systems - Articles
Proper design and operation of an on-lot sewage system hinges on the ability of the soil to absorb and renovate the wastewater flowing from the treatment tank. More
On-Lot Filtration and Advanced Treatment Units
On-Lot Filtration and Advanced Treatment Units - Articles Articles
There are many Filtration and Advanced treatment units (FATU's) approved for use in On-Lot Wastewater Systems in Pennsylvania. More
On-lot Wastewater Inspections During Real Estate Transactions On-lot Wastewater Inspections During Real Estate Transactions - Articles
The Pennsylvania Septage Management Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Education and Research Foundation have developed standards and procedures for on-lot wastewater system inspections. More
Aerobic Treatment Units Aerobic Treatment Units - Articles

Aerobic Treatment Units

Albert Jarrett, Ph.D.

Aerobic treatment units, also called activated sludge tanks, are a common method of biological treatment used in municipal wastewater treatment facilities. More
Vertical Flow Wetlands
Vertical Flow Wetlands - Articles Articles

Vertical Flow Wetlands

Bryan Swistock, William Sharpe, Ph.D.

Vertical flow wetlands (VFW) are a relatively new tool for treating waters acidified by mining or acid deposition. More
A Primer on Water Quality Credit Trading in the Mid-Atlantic Region
A Primer on Water Quality Credit Trading in the Mid-Atlantic Region - Articles Articles
Water quality credit trading is a tool for reducing the cost of controlling nutrients and sediments that severely impact streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries. More
A Marcellus shale gas well pad in Pennsylvania (image credit Tom Murphy)
PA and National Academic Standards: Water and Shale Gas Videos - Articles Articles
Detail about the academic standards addressed by the water and shale gas videos available from Penn State Extension 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
Water Well Maintenance and Rehabilitation
Water Well Maintenance and Rehabilitation - Articles Articles

Water Well Maintenance and Rehabilitation

Bryan Swistock, Dana Rizzo, M.S.

Water wells require regular maintenance to ensure adequate water flow and optimum water quality. More
Water Softening
Water Softening - Articles Articles

Water Softening

Bryan Swistock

Hard water causes gray or white deposits when water is heated. Water softening can be used to reduce these symptoms. 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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