Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marcellus Shale Drilling and Private Well Water Supply - The Marcellus Shale Factor

In Pennsylvania, private wells are virtually unregulated.  There are basically no construction standards, minimial standards for well placement, and virtually no requirement for testing or checking the quality of the water.  We have known that on average about 50% of private wells do not meet drinking water standard, yet we have not passed any regulations or standards to ensure private wells are sited and constructed properly and that the groundwater is of good quality.  In addition, we have not put inplace standards for private wells or even geothermal wells that ensure and help to maintain the quality of our groundwater resource.  

The Marcellus Shale is a Factor - even without Marcellus Shale we have a situation where we need to take action.  The action we need is:

a. Create Private Well and Geothermal Well Construction Standards.
b. Require some initial testing and screening of the well water.
c. Put in place a program to abandon or remediate wells that do not meet standards.
d. Put in place a program to help citizens that need to have their well remediated.   For example, a well with a problem with total coliform and e. coli because of inadequate casing can produce water that meets drinking water standards by installing a Class A disinfection system - But the well is a conduit for contamination. 

We all live downstream !

2011 Training Event - Getting the Waters Tested - the Marcellus Shale Factor - February 10, 2011

If you are looking for more information, please visit the following websites.

Wilkes University - Homeowner Outreach Program

Water Research Center - Free Information on Water Quality and Private Well Construction

Citizen Groundwater Quality Database in NEPA - Recommendations on Parameters for Private Wells

Free Publication for Private Well Owners

Need Help - Watershed Organizations - Potential Free Assistance
Assistance or Presentation on the Citizen Groundwater Database - Citizen Monitoring Programs

Questions on Baseline Testing

Self-Monitoring Equipment and Supplies
Monitoring For Well Drillers and Private Well Owners

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