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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A Water Drop on a Journey - Shale Gas Drilling in the Mid-Atlantic
A Water Drop on a Journey - Shale Gas Drilling in the Mid-Atlantic - Videos Videos
This video covers water’s journey through the shale gas drilling and production processes in the Mid-Atlantic region and targets the 6th–9th grade level. 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
Are Roadside Springs Safe?
Are Roadside Springs Safe? - Videos Videos

Are Roadside Springs Safe?

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

Many people drink water from roadside springs in Pennsylvania. But recent research suggests that you should use caution when consuming spring water. More
Water Supply Protection, Testing, and Interpretation
Water Supply Protection, Testing, and Interpretation - Videos Videos
Learn how to test and protect your private water well, spring or cistern. More
Well, Spring, and Cistern Construction and Maintenance
Well, Spring, and Cistern Construction and Maintenance - Videos Videos
Learn how private water wells, springs and cisterns should be located, constructed and managed to ensure safe and adequate water. More
Solving Water Problems
Solving Water Problems - Videos Videos
Most drinking water issues can be resolved by considering water treatment, pollution control, or alternative water sources. More
Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From?
Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From? - Videos Videos
Educational resources on proper management of private water systems including wells, springs, and cisterns. 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
Tips for Buying Water Treatment Equipment
Tips for Buying Water Treatment Equipment - Articles Articles
The following tips will assist the homeowner with the purchase of water treatment equipment. 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
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
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
Removing Giardia Cysts from Drinking Water
Removing Giardia Cysts from Drinking Water - Articles Articles
This article describes proper treatment methods to remove Giardia cysts from drinking water. More
Removal of Arsenic from Wells in Pennsylvania
Removal of Arsenic from Wells in Pennsylvania - Articles Articles
Arsenic occurs in groundwater from both natural sources and man's activities. Several treatment options are available to remove arsenic from water. More
Reducing Radon in Drinking Water
Reducing Radon in Drinking Water - Articles Articles
Radon gas can sometime be dissolved in drinking water from water wells. Included are some methods to reduce radon in drinking water. 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
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
Private Water Systems FAQs
Private Water Systems FAQs - Articles Articles
Frequently asked questions about private wells, cisterns and springs. More
Private Water System Management
Private Water System Management - Articles Articles
Penn State recommendations. A guide for private water system owners throughout Pennsylvania More
Unused and unwanted medicines being collected.
Pharmaceutical Disposal and Water Quality - Articles Articles
This article explains the issue of pharmaceuticals in water and how to properly dispose of these products to prevent water quality contamination. More
Nitrates in Drinking Water
Nitrates in Drinking Water - Articles Articles

Nitrates in Drinking Water

Bryan Swistock

Excessive nitrates in drinking water can cause “blue-baby syndrome” or methemoglobinemia. Various treatment options are available to remove nitrate from water. More
Methane Gas and Its Removal from Water Wells
Methane Gas and Its Removal from Water Wells - Articles Articles
Methane gas can occur in water wells from natural processes or from nearby drilling activity. More