Private Well Owners, Common Water Quality Problems, Water Testing
Written by Mr. Brian Oram, PG
New Education Guide for Private Well Owners in Pennsylvania (2012)
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Private Well Owner Education
Common Problems, Causes, and Solutions
The Importance of Private Well Owner Education PA Water Quality
Private Well Water Testing Analysis
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Mr. Brian Oram is a licensed professional geologist and soil scientist with over 25 years experience in applied earth and environmental sciences. Mr. Oram has conducted research and consulting projects related to acid mine drainage ( AMD ), mine drainage, lake and stream monitoring programs, wetland creation and monitoring, filtration plant performance evaluations, testing new point of use water treatment devices and systems, hydrogeological evaluations, geological investigations, soils testing, soil morphological evaluations, water well drilling and construction, drinking water testing, mail order water testing kit program, private well water testing programs, and land reclamation. Mr. Oram has also been involved with Citizen Monitoring and other Environmental Training Programs for groups within the United States, Europe, and even the former Soviet Union.
The main reason is that most private wells and small water systems are not regulated by the EPA or the DEP in a given state and in Pennsylvania about 50% of private wells produce water that does not meet a primary health standard, i.e., Could Make the Well Owner Sick. Therefore, it is up to the individual private well owner to ensure that the water is safe. This website has been up and running for over 25 years with the primary mission of providing free information on this topic to well owners. We have had over 1,300,000 unique visitors and many private well owners from throughout the world use this portal.
In Pennsylvania, we have found that typically at least 10 % of private well have one or more of these problems:
a. Low pH / corrosive water
b. Elevated Iron and/or Manganese
c. Elevated Bacteria (Actually it is 40 % to 50% for this parameter)
Less than 5 % of private wells have problems with methane gas, barium, alpha/beta, and other contaminants that would suggest a saline water source. In the middle, we have found about 5 to 10% may have problems with copper, lead, arsenic, and plasticizers.
Note- There are over 1 million private wells in Pennsylvania. Assume 3 citizens per household and 50 % of households having contaminated water, this means that 1.5 million citizens of the Commonwealth are Drinking Water that could make the SICK - This is a Health Crisis. It is time to ACT. We know this information because of the hundreds of private well owners that have released their information to the Citizen Groundwater Database.
To Act, we recommend the following:
1. Get Educated and Informed.
2. Get Your Water Tested
3. Work as a Community to Develop Local and State Solutions
If you are in Pennsylvania, you can contribute to the Citizen Groundwater Database and help track change for FREE and if you would like to learn about our Natural Gas Related Information, please visit us at http://www.private-well-owner.org.
Some Tools to Get YOU Started In Protecting Groundwater and Your Private Well
Get Your Water Tested !