Pike County - Geology and Groundwater Monitoring and Testing Citizen Monitoring Programs
Written by Mr. Brian Oram, PG
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(Supports Groundwater Education in PA)
Announcement - The PA Citizen Groundwater and Surfacewater Database (Free Assistance)
The Private Well Owner and Marcellus Shale Environmental Survey (Free Program)
Map Source: (http://www.census.gov/datamap/www/42.html)
Mr. Brian Oram is a licensed professional geologist and soil scientist with over 20 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, 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.
Homeowners Get Your Water Tested as
Part of Our Private Well Owner Drinking Water Testing Program
NEED Baseline Testing Related to Natural Gas Development
The Key Components of the Groundwater Monitoring and Survey of Pike County are as follows:
1. Provide residents of Pike County general information on groundwater quality and availability. To do this we will be adding background information on the regional geology and water quality issues.
2. Provide online information about water quality problems common in drinking water supplies for the County and region. At this point, the Online Help Guide has information on a number of topics or check out our online search tool.
3.Develop a Residential or Homeowner Outreach Program that offers water quality testing, professional advise, and helps to compile information on the regions Groundwater. As part of this program, the Homeowner would receive a questionnaire and water sampling kit that for specific information about general location, water supply, water quality problems or concerns, and ask permission for us to use the water quality data for educational purposes.
It is our hope that we could test water wells, springs, lakes, ponds, streams, and reservoirs throughout the County. The Homeowner or resident of the County would then mail back the kit to th Laboratory. This program is Online and Ready to GO. As I mentioned earlier, this program is not grant or otherwise funded so if you would like to assist in compiling this information, there is a fee to obtain the sampling kit. For well sources, the evaluation includes a professional evaluation and recommendation for the need for water treatment. If you have a treatment system, the package will include a test prior to and following the treatment system.
If the program is a success, it may be possible to obtain grants to support the development of the groundwater and surfacewater monitoring and sampling network for Pike County, Pennsylvania. Some findings for the Pike County Region:
Source: Mr. Brian Oram, Carbon County Groundwater Guardians, and Pennsylvania State University
Total Coliform- approximately 45 to 50 % are positive and exceed EPA drinking water limits.
E. coli.- approximately 5 to 10 % are positive and exceed EPA drinking water limits.
pH - less than 6.5 (Field measured) - approximately 40% violate
pH- greater than 8.5 (Field measured) -< 5 % violate
Iron - greater than 0.3 mg/L -up to 40% violate
Manganese -greater than 0.05 mg/L - up to 50% violate
Corrosive Water (Saturation Index) of -2 or less - up to 75% potentially corrosive
Arsenic - greater than 0.01 mg/L - < 5 % violate
Barium, Lithium, Strontium, and other Saline Water Impacts - < 5 % violate
Lead - First Flush sample exceeding 0.005 mg/L - up to 14 % violate
Nitrate - at or exceeding 10 mg/L - < 1 % violate
VOCs- detected < 1 % violate
Elevated Level Chloride and Sodium - < 1 % violate
Based on data contained in the Citizens Groundwater Database, Private Well Owner Database maintained by the Water-Research Center, and information from PSU.
Source II - Recent U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey - Scientific Investigation Report 2014-5117
Methane - 80 % of private wells - detectable levels of methane (Primary Source to be of Microbial Origin- not Thermogenic Origin)
Methane - 20% of private wells with methane levels over 1 mg/L (Ranging from 3.7 to over 7 mg/L) - high methane levels associated with water with a pH of 8.3 or more and elevated concentrations of sodium, boron, and lithium.
Radon - 85 % exceed the proposed limit of 300 pCi/L and 10% exceed the level of 4000 pCi/L - the highest value was 4,500 pCi/L. For Pike County, the average indoor household radon level is 5.8 pCi/L and EPA recommends action when indoor levels are greater than 4 pCi/ in air. Note: 10,000 pCi/L in water - generates only 1 pCi/L. (More on Radon)
Ground Water Age - Ranged from 10 to 70 years. Youngest water found in well water was 10 to 30 years old and the oldest water identified was 35 to 70 years old.
Pike County, 2007 Study - pdf
Recent - Pike County Study - 2012 - 2013 (dated 2014) -pdf
Importance - It is critical to get your private well water Tested. Our New PSA for the Area from the Keystone Clean Water Team and visit the
Keystone Clean Water Team.
Online Training Resources
LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/ Professional Development Hours Courses
Farm-Agricultural - Rural Business Education
B.F. Environmental Consultants Training Programs