Well Field Evaluation - Well Field Capture Zone Analysis

The Hideout

The Hideout - With Wells

Roamingwood Sewer and Water Association
PO Box 6
Lake Ariel, PA 18436

Prepared by

Mr. Brian Oram, PG MS,   Mr. Bill Toothill, MS,
Mr. John Pagoda, BS, and Ms. Holly Longenberger, BS
Wilkes University and B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc
Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Submitted to

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Growing Greener Grant Program

Executive Summary

The Roamingwood Sewer & Water Association was awarded a “PA Growing Greener Grant” to aid in the development of a Source Water Protection Program for the Roamingwood Sewer & Water Association (PWS ID # 2640025).  The Roamingwood Sewer & Water Association provides drinking water from five groundwater sources to over 2,979 private homes and 24 community buildings within the planned residential development known as The Hideout in Salem and Lake Township in Wayne County.  In 1798, Wayne County was subdivided from Northampton County and named after General Anthony Wayne.   Wayne County contains over 488,250 acres that has been divided into 28 local municipalities.  Based on the 2000 Census, the rate of growth in Wayne County during the 1990’s was 19.5 % with an estimated population of over 47,700 in 2000.  In the Commonwealth, Wayne County ranks 3rd with respect to rate of population growth and 18th with respect to density. The Hideoutis a planned residential community consisting of approximately 2,979 single-family homes nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

  Capture Zone Delineation - Steady State Groundwater Pumping Rate - 13 MG/Month

capture zone analysis wellhead protection area, wellhead protection zone, poconos wellhead protection
Zone 1 - Small Blue Circles
Zone 2 - Purple Shaded Area
Zone 3 - Green Shaded Area

Initial Project PowerPoint Presentation
Preliminary Project Summary Report (Word File)
Final PowerPoint Presentation

More Power Point Presentations
Other Projects

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

NEED Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development

Water / Wastewater / Stormwater Treatment Training Courses

Sustainability and Going Green Programs

Whole House Treatment System With Sub-Micron Filter
UV Disinfection Systems (6 to 12 gpm) and
other water treatment systems

Commercial Filtration Systems (Sponsor)

Waterborne Pathogen Screening Test / Giardia - Crypto Water Screening Test

Water-Research.net is a strong supporter of environmental education and the company feels privileged to make available this informational fact sheet for free as a means of environmental education, awareness, and outreach.

Other Sponsors for this Portal 
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
Water Testing Kits - Do It Yourself at Home !


The topic of this summary report is Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and waterborne disease. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are becoming the most widespread intestinal parasites, i.e., disease causing organisms, associated with waterborne disease.

These organisms are not bacteria or viruses, but protozoans with complex life cycles. Outside of the host, the organisms are in a cyst stage, which is much like a seed for a plant or microscopic egg.  The size of the Giardia cyst is approximately 8 to 14 um; whereas, the Cryptosporidium oocysts are usually 4 to 6 microns in diameter.  (Note: 1 micron = 0.001 mm = 0.00004 inches ), which is too small to see with the naked eye. These organisms are reasonable for over 100,000 causes of reported outbreaks of waterborne, since 1979.  These are not new organisms and in fact Van Leeuwenhoek first describe Giardia cysts in 1681, but these organisms have not been identified as disease causing agents until the last two decades.


The Disease:

Upon ingestion, the acids in the stomach cause the cysts or oocysts to begin to ex-cyst ("like hatching an egg") and the organism begins to reproduce in the intestines. As few as 10 Giardia cysts have been shown to cause the disease giardiasis and it is not currently known the minimum number of oocysts need to get the disease cryptosporidiosis.  The disease creates symptoms that mimic other gastrointestinal problems and the common symptoms are persistent diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal cramps, nausea, and dehydration. In general, the symptoms begin within a week after exposure and the acute symptoms can last for up to 2 weeks, but chronic symptoms can last for up to 2 months. With proper treatment and our natural immune system, the diseases are not deadly, but these diseases can be life threatening to AIDS patients, small children, elderly, or someone recovering from major surgery.

Special Note:
If a member of your household is diagnosed with either of these diseases, it is critical that all members of the household be tested. This is recommended because one of the individuals may be a asymptomatic (not showing signs of disease) carrier for these organisms. It is also important to note that the side effects of the drugs used to treat these diseases tend to have symptoms similar to the disease and that some people have reported becoming lactose intolerant after having the disease.

Routes of Transmission:

This disease can not be transmitted via a cut or exposure to blood products. The primary route of transmission is any fecal to oral route. I know the statement "fecal to oral" route seems strange and unlikely, but please read some of the following examples. Waterborne: Drinking water supply becomes contaminated by malfunctioning on-lot wastewater disposal systems or improperly disposed sludge.  Groundwater is not a common route of contamination, but surface water can be a common route.  This is why it is important to Know Your H20? (Hazards in Your Community) and the source of your drinking water  (City water users consumer confidence reports).   Foodborne: Mother was changing the diapers of her infant and returned to canning products for the church picnic and the individual purchasing the last batch of the canned items became sick; this would include any personal contact with fecal material, contaminated soil, or pet hair that contains the cysts.  Sexual route: This is a route of transmission if you engage in anal-oral sex. Overall, the most widespread route of transmission is through the consumption of contaminated or inadequately or improperly treated drinking water.


"Backpacker Disease": Hikers and nature lovers would drink water from this clear, "pure" mountain spring or stream and get the disease Giardiasis. Most surface water sources (streams, creeks, springs, etc) can be consider vulnerable or are contaminated by Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts.  Since both people and animals (wild and domestic animals) are carriers, it is impossible to prevent these organisms from getting into a surface water source. Therefore, do not drink untreated surface water or from that spring just is down the road; YOU are putting your family at risk. Groundwater sources are usually not vulnerable to contamination by these organisms, but improperly constructed wells, wells under the direct influence of a surface water source, or a damaged well could cause a problem. An improperly constructed well would permit surface water to enter along the casing or through the pitless adapter. A well under the direct influence of surface water means that the amount or thickness of the loss soil is not an adequate filtration barrier. A damaged well would be a well were the casing is cracked, well cap broken, or pitiless adapter permits water to directly enter the well.



Unlike bacteria, Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts are more resistant to conventional water treatment, such as: chlorination and ultraviolet irradiation. The primary reason is that these organisms have a cyst stage that exists outside the host, i.e., you, me, and other animals.  In the cyst stage, a thick cell wall protects the organism from these conventional treatment methods.  Not only does the cyst stage protect the organism during disinfection, this stage also permits the organism to stay "dormant" for many months in stream sediments or other moist environments.

The best strategy to protect a water supply is to use a multiple barrier approach.   For large water systems, this approach uses a combination of controlling land-use within a watershed to prevent degradation of the source water and the second barrier is a properly design and well-operated filtration plant. Therefore, the physical removal, maintaining low finished water turbidity/ particle count, and effective disinfection is a combination of engineering controls that can be an effective treatment method.    

For community water systems, this multiple barrier approach may include: sanitary surveys, risk assessment, water supply vulnerability analysis, land use management and control, zoning and development regulations, watershed management, wellhead and water supply protection zones, watershed and well field monitoring, water pretreatment, water filtration, disinfection, water quality monitoring, and water distribution system monitoring.

For individual water supplies, this would include a comprehensive treatment system that may include: evaluating water source, filtration, disinfection, and possibly reverse osmosis or distillation.  National Sanitation Foundation has approved several point-of-use devices.  Prior to selecting a treatment option, it is advisable to have your water tested.

For workers at restaurants, daycare facilities extra, the multiple barrier approach is also necessary. When working with contaminated material make sure to wear gloves, properly wash and the more important step is to dry your hands (cysts can not survive desiccation), and properly dispose of contaminated materials.

Water Testing:

Usually if a person is concerned with the quality of their water and they contact a commercial laboratory, the laboratory will recommend that the well be tested for total coliform bacteria; this is not the organisms Giardia.  Important Note: If you do have your water tested and found to be negative for total coliform bacteria, this does not guarantee that the water is potable. T he results mean that it is "unlikely that disease causing organisms are present". The actual testing for the presence of these organisms is time consuming and can be very expensive. There are only a few laboratories within the United States that can conduct this analysis. If you have any questions regarding analysis you can contact the WATER RESEARCH CENTER, but we do now facilitate a PCR screening test for Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and 5 other pathogens and a Giardia/Crypto Assessment.   If you are looking to have your water sample tested for bacterial or general water quality, please visit our Outreach Program page.

Private Water Supply is Contaminated ?

If your personal water supply system (well, spring, or stream) is contaminated, the first step is to start boiling all the water you use for consumption (food preparation, drinking, brushing teeth, making ice cubes) or consider purchasing bottled water. The next step is to contact a professional (consultant or public health department) and have them provide you with guidance on how to best PROTECT YOUR FAMILY for your area.

Other Reports are available for FREE.

Free Report # 2- Nitrates in Drinking Water
Free Report # 3- Lead in Drinking Water
Homeowners Guide to Drinking Water Test- What do I test for?
Newest Website - The MTBE Fact Sheet
Newest Website - Arsenic In Groundwater  
Newest Website - Trihalomethanes

Great Books on Giardia

New Approaches for Isolation of Cryptosporidium and Giardia

Giardia and Giardiasis: Biology, Pathogenesis, and Epidemiology
(This is a Great Reference !)

Online Training Resources

 Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Design, Operation, and Management

Project Management


Report # 2- Nitrates and Drinking Water

The Water Research Center is a strong supporter of environmental education and the company feels privileged to make available this informational fact sheet for free as a means of environmental education, awareness, and outreach.  In partial fulfillment of that obligation we are proud to make this report available to YOU.  There are a number of contaminants that threaten the safety and quality of our nations drinking water, but none seem so benign as nitrates. Nitrates are a form of nitrogen. Nitrogen is need by every living plant and animal and can be found in the soil, air we breath, rain and the water we drink. Nitrogen is usually present in the form of ammonia (NH3),nitrite (NO2), and nitrate (NO3), so how could this essential element be a concern.

The Concern

If infants drinking baby formula or water that contains an elevated level of nitrate or nitrite the baby could die from the disease "methemoglobinema". Current research suggests that long-term exposure to nitrates in drinking water may cause the development of cancer. I hope that these potential concerns make your read on and learn more about nitrates. What is "Methemoglobinema" anyway?

"When an infant consumes formula made with nitrate or nitrite contaminated water, the nitrates are converted in the child’s stomach to nitrite. The nitrite is then absorbed into the body and reacts with the blood (hemoglobin) to form methemoglobin. Since hemoglobin carries the oxygen throughout the body and methemoglobin can not carry oxygen, the infant can suffocate due to lack of oxygen". This is why this is sometimes known as "Blue Baby Syndrome"

Cancer Concern:

The concern over the ability of nitrates to cause cancer is unclear. Once in the body the nitrate or nitrite can form a serious of nitrogen compounds that have been tested and shown to be cancer causing agents in laboratory animals. Currently, there is no direct evidence that nitrate-contaminated drinking water causes cancer, but it is recommended that you reduce your exposure to these compounds.

The Source:

A recent study conduct by the EPA estimated that over 600,000 household had nitrate levels above the safe drinking water standard of 10 milligram NO3-N per liter (nitrate as nitrogen) and a study by the US Geological Survey showed that at least   6 % of the nations rural wells exceeded the drinking water standard. The primary sources of nitrogen include:

Farming/Landscaping: excessive or improper fertilizer use and improper storage of manure
Land Development: inadequate stormwater management and erosion protection
On-lot Septic Systems: improper siting, design, and maintenance
Landscaping fertilizers for lawn maintenance
Airborne sources of NOx


Nitrate contamination is typically a problem in agricultural areas, but other rural non-agricultural communities are also at risk.  It is important to KNOW the Hazards in your Community - Get your Hazard Report.

Nitrate Removal:

The only ways to prevent nitrate contamination of a water supply include: proper siting of water system, proper management of fertilizers and manure, proper well construction (sanitary wells), and install point-of-use water treatment devices. The primary water treatment devices for nitrate removal include: ion exchange resins, distillation, and reverse osmosis.  It is critical that you have your water tested for this contaminant (laboratory testing) or in-home screening test for nitrate-nitrogen and more..

References or other resources

Other Reports are available for FREE.
Free Report # 1- Giardia in Drinking Water
Free Report # 3- Lead in Drinking Water
Homeowners Guide to Drinking Water Test and Testing- What do I test for?
Newest Website - The MTBE Fact Sheet
Newest Website - Arsenic In Groundwater  
Newest Website - Trihalomethanes

Nitrate Treatment Systems (Whole House)
Up to 1,000,000 gallons

Online Training Courses

LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/ Professional Development Hours Courses
Training Pros - Continuing Educational Portal
Professional Development Hours - Engineers
Career Training for Industry



lake monitoring assessment, crescent lake, lake management plan, water quality monitoring, Susquehanna County, Wyoming County
Crescent Lake - From Station 2

crescent lake association, watershed monitoring, lake assessment, groundwater assessment
Crescent Lake - From Dam

Crescent Lake Property Owners Association

Pennsylvania State University
Borton-Lawson Engineering
Center for Environmental Quality at Wilkes University
Mr. Brian Oram
Skelly & Loy Engineers-Consultants

Submitted to

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Growing Greener Grant Program
June 30, 2005

Executive Summary

Crescent Lake is a 35 acre lake located in the headwaters of the Little Meshoppen Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Susquehanna River in Auburn Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. The lake is approximately eight miles north of Meshoppen near the rural community of Auburn Corners. A general location map of the lake as well as the topography is shown on the USGS topographic map in Plate I-1. Crescent Lake provides excellent recreational activities including boating, swimming and fishing. It is a natural lake that has been augmented by the addition of an outlet structure/spillway to moderately increase water depth and improve water retention. Current management of the lake quality has been undertaken by the Crescent Lake Property Owners Association (Association) on an as-needed basis. The Association currently has a Fish Commission permit to treat the lake several times per summer with copper sulfate to reduce algal growth. However, treatment was viewed as a reactive measure to water quality concerns. Past lake quality management has not addressed the impact of non-point sources of pollution, on-lot septic systems, or land use practices in the watershed. In recent years the lake also has experienced sediment accumulation. Therefore, there is a need to identify these and other factors that impact the lake water quality and the watershed landscape.

This assessment project provides a pro-active program of watershed management and protection for the Association. This encompassed a comprehensive watershed assessment and the creation of a watershed protection plan. The assessment documents the current lake water quality and watershed land use practices pursuant to identifying non-point and other pollution sources. The protection plan offers specific recommendations for improving lake water quality. Best land use practices for the watershed are identified and encouraged through community education. Implementation of best land use practices at the municipal level is encouraged by suggestions made to Auburn Township officials. The plan also includes a watershed conservation education program for residents and visitors of the lake.


This project was a joint effort of seven groups namely; the Crescent Lake Property Owners Association (Association), Penn State University, Borton-Lawson Engineering, Center for Environmental Quality at Wilkes University, Susquehanna County Conservation District, Skelly-Loy and Auburn Township Supervisors. The Association was involved in the collection of watershed data, lake quality and quantity data collection. They distributed three newsletters to the community regarding the progress and outcomes of the project. They made suggestions or comments regarding the watershed assessment report and had active involvement in shaping the final watershed protection plan.

Penn State University was involved in assessing water volumes and flow rates in and around the lake. They were also a general clearing house and back-up resource for all information gathered during the project. Penn State, along with Borton-Lawson Engineering and Wilkes University, took the lead role in compiling the watershed assessment report and the development of the watershed protection plan. Penn State administered the contract grant as project sponsor for the Association.

Borton-Lawson Engineering, was involved in the watershed data collection and analysis, watershed GIS mapping, and analysis of sample results. They managed the overall coordination of the water quality data collection, assisting the Association in their volunteer data collection activities.  Borton-Lawson Engineering developed the GIS database, and took the lead role in assessing the watershed and lake quality. They assisted Penn State in the development of the watershed assessment report and the watershed protection plan.

Wilkes University provide the technical assistance to facilitate the training of the lake monitoring team, conducted comprehensive field assessments, and developed the field and laboratory quality control and quality assurance program. Through the environmental testing laboratory at Wilkes University, the laboratory performed most of the key nutrient, general water quality, microbiological, and biological analysis to support this project. Wilkes University compiled the available water quality data and completed a rather comprehensive trophic assessment of Crescent Lake.

Skelly-Loy evaluated the eroded channel leading to the lake (between lots 31E and 32E) and provided conceptual solutions to minimizing channel erosion using fluvial geomorphologic analysis and natural channel design, as per tasks 2 and 5.

Auburn Township Supervisors provided information with regard to township population and population trends in the watershed over the past 50 years. They reviewed proposed best land use management activities and made comments and suggestions with regard to practical implementation in the township.


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

NEED Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development

Civil Engineering Courses - PDH

SCS Method - Runoff Design

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) (Erosion and Sedimentation) for NPDES Construction Sites