baseline water testing, private wells, groundwater, pennsylvania, marcellus shale

Water Research Center
Private Well Owner Outreach Program in Pennsylvania

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.

Citizen Science and the Citizen Groundwater/ Surfacewater Database
The Concept- The Need- The Purpose

The Private Well Owner Outreach Program in Pennsylvania
by Mr. Brian Oram, PG

private well owner, water quality, dirty water, black discolored water, clean drinking water, private well owner education|
Private Well Owner Booklet (2012)

water testing laboratory, pennsylvania groundwater, copper lead drinking water, private well, water testing
Experience in Water Quality
Analysis and Applied Research

Featured Link:
LEED / Sustainability Certified Training Courses - Green Building - Green Associate - Website Dedicated to Information for Private Well Owners,
Evaluation of Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems, and Education/Outreach Programs - We Need Your Help to Spread the Word!

Announcement - New Booklet is Available - The Pennsylvania Guide for Groundwater for
Private Well Owners: What Do the Numbers Mean?

For the past 20+ years, I have been conducting water quality analysis, baseline testing, and conducting education programs for the citizens of Pennsylvania.  Even though our groundwater resources are one of our most important assets, there is limited data on the quality and quantity of regional groundwater. While working at Wilkes University, I helped establish the formation of a "Citizen" Groundwater and Surfacewater Database.  Even though I no longer work full-time at Wilkes University, I am working with Dr. Brian Redmond and Dr. Sid Halsor on the development, formation, and creation of this community tool.  This regional  water quality database is an unbiased warehouse of water quality data that is supported by fellow "Citizens" of this Commonwealth.   After reviewing this information, I would hope you will take action and support the PA Citizens Groundwater and Surfacewater Database and Contribute to the PA Private Well Owner and Watershed Survey, but if you outside of Pennsylvania we will still provide assistance with reviewing your data and maintain a record.  For private well owners and water systems outside of Pennsylvania, please participate in this survey.

The database will provide information about the current state of groundwater and surface water quality and serve as a basis for monitoring impacts related to Marcellus gas drilling and other activity in our region. The database initiative is the first of its kind in northeast Pennsylvania and the initial database targeted private wells in Luzerne and Columbia Counties, but we are reaching out to build partnerships throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania so the database can include other counties in the area, i.e., Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe,  Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Sullivan, Wayne, and Wyoming (Resource: Initial Press Release dated –August 17, 2010).
The purpose of our database is twofold. We will use it to help us better understand the current and future groundwater and surface water quality for the region. The database will also be used to generate educational materials relating to regional water quality. The database is for research and education purposes, and will not be sold or used for any commercial purpose. The database is managed by representatives of the Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department at Wilkes University, i.e., Dr. Brian Redmond and Dr. Sid Halsor.  To protect your privacy, the research database file will only include the testing results, zip code, general information on well or water source, and the latitude and longitude of the sampling site. Your name, address, or other contact information will NOT be included within the database.    

This is what citizens are saying about this service and community resource:

"WOW! I can’t thank you enough. My only regret is that you are not here to do the rest of the tests for my community. If all this drilling wasn’t coming here, I would be begging you to bring the family here." (Darlington, Pa)

"KUDOs to Brian and others for putting the concept together" (Wayne County, PA)

"Thank you for a most informative discussion last night.  I think it may have opened many eyes and minds to well contamination issues already in the community" (Regional Task Force, PA). 

"this program has been a ROCK to us... thank you, as always, thank you thank you! " ( Private Well Owner, Dimock, PA - Part of EPA Dimock Sampling)

"Thank you so much!  We truly appreciate your taking the time to come - it has been great to the facts and educate the residents" (Private Well Owner, Susquehanna County, PA).

If you have not conducted baseline analysis and have questions about the testing process and suggested parameters please go to

II. Guidelines for Data Submission (Data Qualification Requirements)

For your data to be included in the database, it will need to meet the following criteria.

1. For inclusion in the water quality database, the water sample must have been collected using an independent third party for the sample collection and following the chain-of-custody process.

2. The testing must have been conducted by a certified laboratory which provided you with a copy of the certified results including a listing of methods, method detection limits, and reporting limits.

3. The water sample must be collected ahead of any water treatment system.

Chain-of-Custody – Is typically a document that tracks the sample from the time of collection to delivery to the certified laboratory and any subsequent releases of the sample to other laboratories for analysis.

Certified Laboratory – a laboratory that has been approved and certified by the Pennsylvania Laboratory Accreditation Program for the specific testing parameters and methods of analysis.

III. My Data Qualifies – What Do I Need To Do?  -  ACT NOW !  All Certified Data is Welcome from any State in the United States.

In order to participate in this process, please do the following:

1. Information Document about the Program (Download a copy - fill it out -Please Keep for Your Reference). 
2. Download a copy of the Consent Form to release to the Database and Sign and Return.
3. Send a copy of your certified laboratory testing results with Chain-of-Custody Documents. 
4. Mail this information to:

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Citizen Outreach Program
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Questions  - call (570) 335-1947
or send a pdf version by email to

Note: If you do not want to have the data entered into the database, we will still evaluate your Data for Free (use this form). 

IV - What Next? More Information or Host a Community Education and Awareness Event or Water Quality Screening Program

Schedule a Community Event - This includes a presentation on the database, suggestions for baseline testing, discuss on Methane Gas Migration, initial review of the data, and then submitting individual summaries of the results to the citizens or workshops on screening well and spring water quality  (Need name, address, location, and time frame).  Education events conducted by B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc working with the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians.


Free Assistance to PA Residents
The Citizen Groundwater Surfacewater Database

Help to Track Change in Pennsylvania (FREE)

Private Well Owner - Watershed Survey
Possible Free Radon in Water Testing
(FREE)(NEW Web-Portal)

New Fact Sheet on Methane Gas Migration (NEW Web-Portal)

You Tube - Videos (NEW Web-Portal)

Visit Our Online Blog- My 2 cents - Ok May be A Quarter
Titled:  Pennsylvania Environmental Solutions


Home |  Drinking Water Help Guides (Case Studies) | Contact Us
  Homeowner Information Water Testing

Search Our Site- How You Can Help Support this Site for FREE !| 

Water Research Watershed Center Citizen Science

Promote Your Page Too

water testing, safe surf all ages

part of the Web Design Pros Network
"specializing in Education and Training of Professions and Sustainability"


 eXTReMe Tracker