Residential Water Supply and Homeowner Drinking Water Testing Evaluation Program - Pocono Mountains

 
Water Treatment Systems

 


Environmental Education and Outreach - Drinking water testing and analysis services provided by a national testing laboratories or certified/licensed professionals.  The residential water testing program includes analysis for common water quality problems, microbiological contamination, and makes recommendations regarding the potential need for water treatment devices, such as: softeners, reverse osmosis units, distillation, neutralizers, chlorination systems, ultraviolet or UV systems. As part of the Water Research Center continuing efforts of environmental education, we have established an education, tesitng, and a self-help program.  Workshops, grant programs, and other events are managed by the Keystone Clean Water Team.
 

Self-Monitoring Testing Kits and Meters - screen samples at home.
Homeowner Evaluation Programs

For Homeowners ONLY (Not for regulatory use !)
If you are looking for Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development (click here)

Informational Water Testing Program- Low Cost Screening Tests


Homeowner Evaluation Programs

For Homeowners ONLY (Not for regulatory use!)
If you are looking for Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development (click here)

Option 1: The Basic Water Chemistry Package and Bacterial Testing - You will be linked to a different web page - then navigate to Product List and Find the Code Sighted in the Link.

Quick Bacteria Test (Presence/Absence) - This is a quick test for the presence or absence of Coliform and E. Coli Bacteria. Coliform is an indicator bacteria that public water supplies are required to monitor. The presence of Coliform could indicate the presence of other infection disease causing organisms. If Coliform is present, then we look for E. Coli which is a known pathogen. (Code 9156).  Request information.


First Flush and Flush Lead - The dual lead test will test for the lead contect in the water and includes sample containers and testing for a "first draw" and a "flushed" sample. (order Code 9047).  Request information.  

Water Check 1 & 2- This testing package covers 19 heavy metals and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, lead, arsenic, and mercury. Additionally, analyzes other inorganic compounds and physical characteristics including nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, alkalinity, pH and hardness.  (order Code 9000).  Request information.

Corrosion Check - An informational testing package that was developed for people who are experiencing signs of corrosion in their plumbing fixtures.  This test analyzes contaminants that can specifically affect corrosion.  This package can be used for well water and city water. ( order Code 9201).  Request information. 

Option 2: Comprehensive Water Testing for Trace Metals and Organics

Watercheck- This informational testing package will check for 83 contaminants in your well water.  These contaminants include Bacteria, (19) Heavy Metals & Minerals, (6) Other Inorganic Chemicals, (5) Physical Characteristics, (4) Trihalomethanes (disinfection by-products) and (47) Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).  This package works well for well water customers. (order Code 9001)Request information.

Watercheck with Pesticide Option is an informational testing package will check for 103 contaminants in your well water.  These contaminants include Bacteria, (19) Heavy Metals & Minerals, (6) Other Inorganic Chemicals, (5) Physical Characteristics, (4) Trihalomethanes (disinfection by-products), (47) Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), and (20) Pesticides, Herbicides and PCBs.  This package works well for well water customers.(Order Code 9002).  Request information.

 

Well-Check is our well water testing package that includes microbiological testing (Total Coliform & E-Coli) and the analysis of 19 heavy metals & minerals, 6 inorganic chemicals, and physical factors. This package helps homeowners to determine what is in their well water and if a treatment system is needed. This package is a great follow up test for our customers who are using our Watercheck test package and need to determine if new treatment systems are working to correct any bacteria or metals issues that were detected. This product also benefits anyone who is looking to monitor their well water on a regular basis. (Order Code 9003).  Request information. 
 

The City-Check Deluxe testing package is for customers on municipal water supplies who are concerned about pesticides and herbicides. This package includes everything in the Basic and Standard City-Check testing packages and adds on a list of 20 pesticides, herbicides and PCBs that are tested. Pesticides and herbicides are more likely to be found in water supplies that utilize surface water as a source rather than groundwater, due to runoff from agricultural areas. (Order Code 9503). Request information. 

Featured Pesticide Testing add on - Glyphosate, it is the most widely used herbicide on the market today, known as Roundup™. Testing for this compound is done using highly sophisticated equipment, which utilized High Performance Liquid Chromatography, so it can be a costly test to run. NTL is pleased to offer an informational test for glyphosate in drinking water at a reduced price. This test would solely look for glyphosate with a detection level of 0.1 mg/L or parts per million.  (Order Kit GLYP). 

Option 3: Specialized Bacterial Testing  

Nuisance Bacteria Testing - Homeowners interested in getting their water tested and are experiencing nuisance related problems can have their water tested for specific nuisance related bacteria.  This package is recommended if you want to check the general potability of your water source, plus you are having problems with elevated iron levels, musty odors, or sulfur odors. The cost for the testing is $ 45.00 per bacterial screen or all three tests for a total cost of $ 110.00. The specialized bacterial testing package may include iron reducing bacteria, slime bacteria, and sulfur reducing bacteria.  To request a homeowners water sampling package, please send an email to the address found below and include the following: Name, complete mailing address, email address, and a description of your water supply and possible concerns by email to Request Order Form For Option 3. Please put Water Testing Option 3 in the Subject area.
 

Pathogenic Bacteria Screening - The specialized bacterial testing package that includes a presence/absence test for pathogenic bacteria.  This package is recommended if you want to check the general potability of your water source, plus you are having problems with musty odors, repeated coliform positives, taste problems, or sulfur odors.  The cost of this analysis is only $ 60.00 per sample and includes a professional evaluation of the results with recommendations. To request a homeowners water sampling package, please send an email to the address found below and include the following: Name, complete mailing address, email address, and a description of your water supply and possible concerns by email to Request Order Form For Option 5. Please put Water Testing Option 5 in the Subject area.

Option 4: Radiological Testing

The Standard Radiological water testing package includes Uranium, Gross Alpha & Beta and Radon in Water. (order Code 7001).  Request information. 

Deluxe Radiological water testing package includes Uranium, Gross Alpha & Beta, Radon and Radium 226 & 228. (order Code 7002).  Request information.

Special Testing - Reverse Osmosis System Testing 
A comprehensive testing package for city or well water to design a reverse osmosis treatment system. 
(order Code 9174).  Request information.  

 

Option 6: Self-Monitoring Testing Kits and Meters

 

Certified Baseline Analysis


Baseline and Certified Water Quality Analysis in Pennsylvania

Baseline and Certified Water Quality Analysis Outside of PA


Education Program 
 

The Water Research Center is making available a number of free informational documents related to common drink water quality issues and problems, such as: Giardia cysts, Cryptosporidium, nitrates, lead, corrosion, bacteria and much more.  Below are three more detailed reports, but more information can be found at the help desk. We are also available conduct Community Based or Regional Water Quality / Private Well Owner Education Programs, Watershed Based Assessments, and aid in Developing Baseline/Regional Testing Programs -schedule a Workshop.  Check out the Keystone Clean Water Team.

The informational documents that are available include:
The Water Library - Pdf files on Water Issues and Topics - A lot of Free Information pdf files, docs and html pages

Report #1: Giardia and Cryptosporidium and Waterborne Disease


Report #2: Nitrates: Health Hazard

Report #3: Lead in Drinking Water


Online Training Courses

LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
Professional Development Hours Courses

VOC's in Drinking Water

For most of Pennsylvania, it is not common to find volatile organic compounds in the groundwater.   Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are a class or group of organic chemicals that contain carbon and tell to volatilize or evaporate into the atmosphere, such as: benzene, toluene, etc.  VOCs tend to have a rather sweet taste and a pleasant or strong odor.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that VOCs are present in one-fifth or 20 % of the nation's water supplies, but recent groundwater surveys in Northeastern Pennsylvania suggest that VOCs are likely present in less than 1% of our groundwater systems.   Where VOCs or SOCs (semivolatile organics) have been identified in large amounts, the occurrence tends to be associated with gasoline or oil spills or leaks or improper disposal or leakage of industrial solvents and cleaning agents.

Volatile organic compounds can have a variety of harmful health effects.  The risk to human health is a function of the exposure route, level of exposure, and length of the exposure.  In general, exposure to low levels of certain VOCs over long periods of time may lead to impaired immune system function, may damage the liver or increase the risk of cancer. At high levels of exposure, many VOCs can cause central nervous system depression (drowsiness, stupor). For short-term exposure, it is possible that the organics can irritate the skin or to the mucous membranes if inhaled.
 



Protecting Your Water

The most effective method for preventing or minimizing the chance for VOC contamination would include:

1. Proper well construction that would included the installation of a sanitary well that intercepts the deeper portions of the freshwater aquifer.  In addition the well design, needs to recreate the confining layers that had been violated by the drilling process.

2. Install a private well that meets the standards for a public water or community water supply well.

3. Properly dispose of your household hazardous materials.

4. Have responsible local zoning and land-development ordinances that protect and help to maintain the groundwater quality.

5. Get the Water Tested !

6. If you need more information on VOCs in water - Download this Free Manual.
 


Homeowners Get Your Water Tested as 
Part of Our Private Well Owner Drinking Water Testing Program

NEED Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development
 

Reverse Osmosis

Certified Commercial and Residential
Drinking Water Systems


water treatment, reverse osmosis, residential water treatment, seawater treatment, saline water
Residential Reverse Osmosis System

commercial water treatment systems
Commercial Systems, plus Seawater Systems
 

The following contains background information related to common drinking water sources of contamination, acute and chronic health problems, health advisories, and aesthetic problems associated with drinking water.   We have put this page together in order to inform the public on a variety of topics and help them along with their testing needs.  The Water Research Center is an outreach programs developed by Mr. Brian Oram.
 

Contaminants removed from water by reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems frequently are used to reduce the levels of total dissolved solids and suspended particles within water. These systems remove a variety of ions and metals as well as certain organic, inorganic and bacterial contaminants. Some contaminants treated effectively by RO are listed in Table I. This table is not an exhaustive list of contaminants that RO may remove, but rather lists those for which RO can be a practical treatment method for treating household drinking water. Most RO systems also include activated carbon (AC) filters and the carbon provides the treatment for some contaminants, as noted in the table. The RO membrane alone may not be an effective method for total removal of these contaminants, but a properly designed system may be effective in reducing these contaminants to safe levels. Contaminant removal by the system may vary depending on operating conditions and equipment. Refer to the equipment section of this guide for further explanation of activated carbon filters combined with RO.

Reverse osmosis can remove microorganisms. However, it is not recommended for that use (i.e., only coliform-free water should be fed to the system) because membrane deterioration can occur due to the bacteria, and contamination may occur through pinhole leaks.   Typically RO treatment systems have a few components:

1. Prefilter - Typically a particle filter to remove particles, rust, and other debris.
2. Possibly a water softener is the total hardness is elevated and a smaller diameter particle filter.
3. RO treatment unit with treated water storage tank and a flush to waste line.
4. Most treatment activated carbon filter.
5. Post-treatment submicron filter.
 

Table I. Contaminants removed by household reverse osmosis units.

Ions and Metals Arsenic, Aluminum, Barium, Cadmium, Calcium, Chloride, Chlorine1, Chromium, Copper, Fluoride, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Nitrate, Potassium, Radium, Radon1, Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Sulfate, Zinc
Organic Chemicals Benzene1, Carbon tetrachloride1, Dichlorobenzene1, Toluene1, Trichloroethylene1, Total Trihalomethanes (THM's)1
Particles Asbestos, Protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidium
Pesticides 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene1, 2,4-D1, Atrazine1, Endrin, Heptachlor, Lindane, Pentachlorophenol
1Activated carbon filters, commonly included in RO systems, can provide treatment for these contaminants.
 


They do not effectively remove some organic compounds. Mechanical filters and activated carbon filters are almost always used with a RO unit. First, the mechanical filter (1) removes dirt, sediment and other impurities, that would otherwise clog the reverse osmosis membrane. The RO (2) unit is installed next. The water is held in a pressurized water storage container (3). An activated carbon filter (4) then removes organic compounds which pass though the RO unit. A separate water tap (5) is used for this water.

Reverse Osmosis uses large amounts of water. Typically, about 75% or more of the water is discarded with the contaminant.
 

Contaminants not removed from water by reverse osmosis

There are some contaminants not removed from water by RO systems. These include dissolved gases such as hydrogen sulfide, a common nuisance contaminant with characteristic rotten egg odor, which passes through the RO membrane. The RO membrane's efficiency in reducing the amount of contaminant in the water depends on the contaminant concentration, chemical properties of the contaminant, the membrane type and condition, and operating conditions.


Water testing

Regardless of the water treatment system being considered, the water should first be tested to determine which contaminants are present. Public water systems are routinely tested for contaminants.  If contaminants exceed the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), the water must be treated to correct the problem and/or another source of water suitable for drinking must be provided. In contrast, monitoring private water systems is the
responsibility of the homeowner. Therefore contamination is more likely to go undetected in a private water supply.  Get Your Water Tested !
 



Online Training Courses


Green Products to Save Money - Reduce Waste
Reduce Energy, Conserve Water and Much More


LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
 Professional Development Hours Courses

Alternative Energy and Green Technologies
 Engineering, Construction, and Electrical Training Programs
 Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Design, Operation, and Management

Trichloroethane in Water

water treatment, reverse osmosis, residential water treatment, seawater treatment, saline water
Residential Reverse Osmosis System
and Commercial Systems (Seawater)

commercial water treatment systems
Commercial Systems, plus Seawater Systems
other Treatment Systems

GETTING YOUR WATER TESTED
 


 

TRICHLOROETHANE In Drinking Water

This is a factsheet about a chemical that may be found in some public or private drinking water supplies. It may cause health problems if found in amounts greater than the health standard set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trichloroethane is an organic liquid with a chloroform-like odor. It is only used to make vinylidene chloride which is in turn used to make synthetic fibers and plastic wraps such as the saran wrap.  In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires EPA to determine safe levels of chemicals in drinking water which do or may cause health problems. These non-enforceable levels, based solely on possible health risks and exposure, are called Maximum Contaminant Level Goals.

The MCLG for 1,1,2-TCE has been set at 3 parts per billion (ppb) because EPA believes this level of protection would not cause any of the potential health problems described below.  The MCL has been set at 5 ppb because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in drinking water.These drinking water standards and the regulations for ensuring these standards are met, are called National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. All public water supplies must abide by these regulations.


What are the Health Effects?

Short-term: EPA has found 1,1,2-TCE to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: irritation of gastrointestinal tract; red or hemorrhaged lungs; pale liver  Long-term: 1,1,2-TCE has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL: damage to liver and kidneys; cancer.


How much 1,1,2-TCE is produced and released to the environment?

An estimated 124 million lbs. of 1,1,2-TCE was produced in the US during 1974, based on the manufacture of vinylidene chloride. It evaporates during its use in the manufacture of vinylidene chloride and as a solvent. It is also released in wastewater from these uses, and in leachates and volatile emissions from landfills. The EPA estimates the gross annual discharge of 1,1,2-TCE waste in the US to be 4 million lbs. From 1987 to 1993, according to EPA's Toxic Chemical Release Inventory, 1,1,2-TCE releases to land and water totaled over 30,000 lbs., of which about 98 percent was to water. These releases were primarily from alkali and chlorine industries. The largest releases occurred in Louisiana and Texas.


What happens to 1,1,2-TCE when it is released to the environment?

When released into water, 1,1,2-TCE should primarily evaporate. In soils, it should partially evaporate and partially leach into the groundwater. Its break down by microbes, if it occurs, is very slow. 1,1,2-TCE shows little tendency to accumulate in aquatic life.


How will 1,1,2-TCE be Detected in and Removed from My Drinking Water?

The regulation for 1,1,2-TCE became effective in 1994. Between 1993 and 1995, EPA required your water supplier to collect water samples every 3 months for one year and analyze them to find out if 1,1,2-TCE is present above 0.5 ppb. If it is present above this level, the system must continue to monitor this contaminant

If contaminant levels are found to be consistently above the MCL, your water supplier must take steps to reduce the amount of 1,1,2-TCE so that it is consistently below that level. The following treatment methods have been approved by EPA for removing 1,1,2-TCE: Granular activated charcoal in combination with Packed Tower Aeration.  


How will I know if 1,1,2-TCE is in my drinking water?

If the levels of 1,1,2-TCE exceed the MCL, 5 ppb, the system must notify the public via newspapers, radio, TV and other means. Additional actions, such as providing alternative drinking water supplies, may be required to prevent serious risks to public health.


Drinking Water Standards:  Get Your Water Tested !

Mclg: 3 ppb
Mcl: 5 ppb

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) 0.005 mg/L
Potential Health Effects
(from ingestion of water)
Cancer
Potential Source of Contaminant Textiles, adhesives and metal degreasers
Applicable NSF/ANSI Standard(s) Standard 53
Water Treatment Technologies Certified by NSF for Reduction of this Contaminant Adsorption (i.e. carbon/charcoal)
Special Notes This contaminant is part of the VOC category. Water treatment products certified by NSF for VOCs will be effective for reducing this contaminant.


Whole House Treatment System

Online Training Courses


Green Products to Save Money - Reduce Waste
Reduce Energy, Conserve Water and Much More

LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
 Professional Development Hours Courses
Alternative Energy and Green Technologies
 Energy Auditor Training Program
 Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Design, Operation, and Management

A Private Well Owner Online Guide to Common Water Quality and Drinking Water Problems

Online Information Guide to Topics Related
Private Well Owners, Private Water Systems, Individual Private Wells,
Springs, Rural Groundwater Systems, Rural Water Resources
, and Baseline Water Testing

Private Well Owners in Help to Protect Groundwater Quality - FOR FREE !

private well owners, pennsylvania, new york, master well owner program, rural water wells, private wells pennsylvania
Private Water Cistern System


Well System Diagram

How You Can Help Support this Information Website

Private Well Owner Assistance (Nationwide)- PA Citizen Groundwater / Surfacewater Database
Working Together to Track Change
  (NEW)

 



The following contains background information related to common drinking water sources of contamination, acute and chronic health problems, health advisories, and aesthetic problems associated with drinking water.   We have put this page together in order to inform the public on a variety of topics and help them along with their testing needs and to help with baseline water testing throughout the country.  The Water Research Center is an outreach programs developed by Mr. Brian Oram.
 



Private Well Water Owner Guide to Clean Safe Water
Drinking Water Quality Help Guide - Information to Help Fix a Problem or Concern

 



Hard Water and Your Drinking Water
Barium and Drinking Water Quality (NEW)
Bacteria in Drinking Water
Black water, Purple water, Red Water, Gas Bubbles, and other Case Studies  (NEW) _ Case Studies 1 through 4.
Black water, Purple water, Red Water, Gas Bubbles, and other Case Studies  (NEW) _ Case Studies 5 through 9.
Coliform Bacteria and Health Effects
Fecal Coliform in Water
Color, Odor, Turbidity in Drinking Water and Well Water  
Odor in Water

Corrosion - A common drinking water problem
Cryptosporidium parvum
Giardia lamblia
Iron and Manganese in Drinking and Tap Water
Lead In Drinking Water
Lithium In Drinking Water (NEW)
Water Testing Kits Services and Water Quality Parameters
Nitrate /Nitrogen Groundwater, Springs, Well Water, Spring Water
Nitrite /Nitrogen Groundwater, Springs, Well Water, Spring Water
Phosphate - Surfacewater and Groundwater
pH of Water (new) pH indicators
Buffer Solutions (How to Make)
Sulfates and Hydrogen Sulfide Corrosion, Well Water, Nuisance Bacteria
Rotten Egg Odors- Sulfur Bacteria, Sulfur Odors
Newest Website -Total Dissolved Solids
Groundwater Under the Influence SWIP Studies, MPA, MET, Microscopic Particulate Analysis
Microscopic Evaluation Technigue, GWUDI for Well Water and Groundwater Sources
SWIP Studies for Surfacewater Sources or Regulated Sources Filtration Performance Studies

Newest Website - Elementary / High School Student Project Tips
Drinking Water Treatment Options (NEW)

Newest Website - The MTBE Fact Sheet Drinking Water Issues
Newest Website - Atrazine in Water (updated)
Newest Website - Arsenic In Groundwater
 (updated)
Newest Website - Trihalomethanes and Drinking Water

Newest Website- Benethic Invertebrates and Rapid Bioassessment
Newest Website - Surface Water Physical Chemical Microbiological Standards
Newest Website Ozone Drinking Water Treatment (updated)
Newest Website: Radon in Drinking Water 
Newest Website: Radionuclides in Water
Newest Website: Groundwater and Drought Conditions
Newest Website: Methane Gas and Methane Gas Migration/ Mitigation in Pennsylvania (NEW)
Newest Website:
A Well by Well Review of the Data from Dimock, Pennsylvania (NEW)
Our Video Section  (NEW)
Newest Website - Well Biofouling


Other helpful information

A brief explanation of Groundwater Flow Well Water
How to shock chlorinate your water supply (updated)
A listing of water quality terms
Helpful Homeowner Information Private Wells and Water Systems
Listing of Federal EPA Primary Drinking Water Standards
Listing of Federal EPA Secondary Drinking Water Standards
Free Report: Giardia in Drinking Water
Free Report: Nitrates in Drinking Water
Free Report: Lead in Drinking Water

Environmental Links


Testing Kits

Water Check with Pesticides
Radiological Testing - Uranium, Radon, Radium, and More
City Water Testing - We have a kit for YOU.
Well Water Check - Get an Annual Check UP.
Corrosion Problems - Metallic Taste, Blue Green Staining, Leaking Pipes


Other Helpful Links
EPA Microbiology Home Page
A consumers guide to the nations drinking water
How safe is my drinking water?
Drinking Water Treatment Systems (updated)
Information on Septic Systems
Green Living Products for Your Home and Office
Private Well Owner and Well Driller Online Store
Marcellus Shale and Black Shale Library - Methane Gas Monitoring/ Testing
Watershed Monitoring - Tools and Supplies
Disinfection of a Drilled Well

Co-Authored - New Publication on Water Quality for Private Well Owners (NEW Publication)

 

County and State Water Quality Projects

(Our Partner: Carbon County Groundwater Guardians)(updated)
Lackawanna County (Private Well Owner Water Testing) - Program is also offered to
Wyoming County and Susquehanna County Outreach Programs (updated- New Reports Added!)
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania - (Well Water Testing, Lake Monitoring and more) (updated)
Monroe County, Pennsylvania - Groundwater Lake Monitoring, and Watershed Programs (updated)
Pike County, Pennsylvania (updated)
Newest Website: Water Quality Data for Your State
Newest Website: Water Quality Data for Dimock PA
Hydrological and Geological Evaluations in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Private Well Owner Program and Website
Agrobusiness Private Well and Rural Water System Program
Assistance to Watershed Groups and Other Environmental Organizations
Watershed Website  (updated)
Watershed Support and Training (updated)
Watershed and Lake Support
Assistance to Watershed Groups
Water Quality Index  (updated)
Water Library (updated)
Power Point Presentations (updated)

MPA MET Testing Services- Microscopic Particulate Analysis
Groundwater Under Direct Influence Investigations

 



Online Training Courses

LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
 Professional Development Hours Courses