Installing a drainfield. Photo:Bryan Swistock, Penn State University
The management of these water and wastewater systems is the voluntary responsibility of each homeowner. For the past several years, the Penn State Extension Water Resources Team has delivered workshops across the state on Home Water and Septic System Management. The two-hour workshops cover septic system management, causes and solutions for septic system failures, along with water supply location, construction, testing and treatment. Homeowners are also encouraged to bring samples of their drinking water for free on-site testing and interpretation.
On July 8, 2017, this workshop was presented in Monroe County near Pocono Pines at the Lake Naomi Club. The presenters were Peter Wulfhorst (Extension Educator, Pike County), Chris Schlegel (Master Well Owner Network volunteer, Pike County), and Bryan Swistock (Water Resources Extension Associate). Thirty-five homeowners attended and 24 water samples were tested for coliform bacteria, E. coli bacteria, pH, total dissolved solids and nitrate.
An evaluation of attendees found that 100% felt that they had learned new information and 84% felt they learned a great deal of new information. More importantly, all of the attendees planned on using information they learned at the extension workshop to take actions to better manage their septic system or drinking water supply.