Sunday, August 25, 2013

Advanced Soil Morphology Engineers, Geologists and other Professionals

September 20, 2013 – 9 AM-4 PM
Advanced Soil Morphology for Engineers, PA Sewage Enforcement Officers, Geologists, and other Professionals.
Where is the Water Table?
The course will provide an introduction into the environmental applications of soil science and soil morphology. During the presentation portion of the course, we will discuss the properties and characteristics of a soil, soil formation/ transformation, and soil hydrology. During the field portion of the course, we will be learning how to describe some of the physical properties of a soil (soil texture, structure, consistency, color), identifying soil horizons, and make interpretations related to the movement of water through the soil profile as it relates to on-site wastewater disposal and stormwater management.   The major topics that will be discussed will be “what is and the types of water tables”, redoximorphic features, and using soil morphological data.

Instructor: Brian Oram is a Professional Geologist and Soil Scientist with B.F. Environmental Consultants. He is a licensed professional geologist, licensed Well Driller, Professional Soil Scientist, and licensed Sewage Enforcement Officer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in conducting hydrogeological investigations related to water supply development, contaminant migration, wetland mitigation, and land based wastewater disposal systems.

Cost: $310, PDH Hours: 7

This course will meet on the campus of Wilkes University and travel to an off-site field location.
Registration Deadline: September 17, 2013
Other Continuing Education Courses at 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Act 13 Grant Application Baseline Testing Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Columbia County Pennsylvania

Notice of Grant Application

The Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council has submitted a grant application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development that could allow our organization and its partners to use financial resources from the Marcellus Legacy Fund to implement a Baseline Water Quality Testing Program in the Council’s service area. Through this grant, we hope to complete testing in Columbia, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties.  As it is a requirement for this grant, we are notifying you that if we are successful in obtaining the funds, we could be working within your jurisdiction.

The Marcellus Shale underlies eight of the ten counties in the Council’s service area. Most of the residents we serve are either directly or indirectly impacted by unconventional shale gas development. In addition, approximately 60% of the residents rely on private wells for their drinking water needs, putting them at increased risk. Monitoring and documenting baseline conditions is critical to not only protecting rural water sources and the environment, but also to safeguard the larger community water supply water sources.

The main elements of the project will include: 

1.      Educate private well owners on baseline water quality issues; 

2.      Provide free baseline water testing, conducted by a certified testing laboratory and collected by trained samplers, for approximately 200 private well owners, giving priority to those over the age of 65 or families that have a median income of less than 2 times the poverty level in our project area;

3.      Offer free assistance to review baseline testing conducted by this project or conducted by the individual private well owner or given to the private well owner within our service area;

4.      Implement a training program for samplers conducting baseline analysis to ensure the use of proper chain-of-custody, field collection, testing, and documentation, and reporting of the data;

5.      Provide assistance to all private well owners that participated in this project by providing a “non-
technical” review of the testing results explained in plain language, a free copy of  Pennsylvania Groundwater Quality: Your Private Well: What Do the Results Mean?, and conducting regional education outreach events; and

6.      The data, excluding confidential contact information, will be maintained by the certified laboratory and the Council in a spreadsheet format that can be then added to the Citizen Groundwater and Surfacewater Database or other state and regional databases.

The Pocono Northeast R C & D Council appreciates your interest and support for this project. It will provide valuable data on the status of rural wells, as well as ensure that the participants in the study will be better off with its completion. Please contact us with any questions you may have at 570-234-3577.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seewald Laboratories NELAP Certified Laboratory Pennsylvania

Seewald Laboratory is now a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) accredited laboratory

This accreditation crowns the transformation process of Seewald.  Over the past two years, Seewald has relocated to a new state of the art laboratory facility, replaced management to set a new tone and direction, purchased new equipment to upgrade and expand service offerings, implemented a new central data system for better record retention and retrieval, and most importantly, a complete revamp of the quality system to improve data confidence and reliability. 

NELAP relies on consensus standards representing the best professional practices in the industry to establish the requirements for this program, which is then implemented by state agencies recognized by TNI as Accreditation Bodies. The TNI Standard for laboratories, Volume 1, is modeled after ISO/IEC 17025:2005 "General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories."

For more information, please visit our website:

Christopher M. Fuller
Quality Director
"Providing quality analytical services since 1939”
 2829 Reach Road
 Williamsport, PA 17701
 Lab: (570) 326 - 4001
 Cell: (570) 971 - 1507
    Fax: (570) 326 - 0399

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ozone Disinfection

Ozone has been used for disinfection for over a century in Europe and extensively in the US for the last 40 years.  Applications for ozone disinfection include public drinking water systems, bottled water production, pharmaceutical plants, industrial processes, municipal wastewater among many others.

The benefits of ozone for water disinfection are many fold:

  • ozone is a broad spectrum biocide that kills a wide variety of organisms
  • ozone tends to act faster and lower doses than other agents such as chlorine
  • ozone is less likely to form harmful disinfection byproducts
  • ozone works at a broader range of pH levels
  • ozone is produced on site and does not require the purchase, storage or handling of chemicals
  • ozone provides ancillary benefits to the water such as color, taste and odor removal

To illustrate ozone’s effectiveness the following table shows the CT value for ozone versus other disinfecting agents for 3 log reduction of Giardia, a difficult to kill organism, and 4 log reduction of virus at 5 degrees C (41 degrees F).  CT is a measure of the concentration of disinfectant (C) and the time (T) required for achieving the removal of the organisms at the levels noted above.  So, a lower CT value means faster action, lower dose of disinfectant or both.


Ozone is also effective against cryptosporidium and is one of the methods approved by the EPA for this organism.

Currently, over 13 billion gallons per day of public drinking water is treated with ozone.  The vast majority of bottled water producers add ozone just prior to bottling to provide additional disinfection for both the water and the bottle.  Many pharmaceutical, food and beverage plants add ozone to various parts of their processes for disinfection.

To learn more about ozone disinfection for drinking water treatment:

Post is part of the efforts of the Water Research Center and Carbon County Groundwater Guardians to education private well owners and water suppliers in our area. If you need any further information, please visit our Drinking Water Helpguide PageWater Quality Library, or search our site.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ozone Iron and Manganese Water Treatment Approach

While iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) don’t pose health problems, water contaminated by these species can stain water fixtures and clothing that is washed with this water.  A typical treatment process involves oxidation, which makes the metals insoluble, followed by filtration.

In general, Fe is fairly easily oxidized by oxygen or chlorine.  Mn is more difficult to oxidize, but can still be oxidized by chlorine at the proper pH levels.  For both Fe and Mn there are conditions involving pH or Fe/Mn complexes with organics that make removal less efficient.  In these cases ozone can be an effective oxidizing agent that is not as sensitive to pH and organics.

Another issue with the use of chlorine based compounds such as bleach is the potential to form trihalomethanes (THM) from organics in water.  Control of THM has become a public health issue and the EPA regulates these compounds in water to less than 100 ppb.  Some public water systems have switched to ozone from chlorine due to this issue.

Application of ozone for iron and manganese removal depends on a variety of factors.  The following discussion provides some base line information on the conditions and amounts of ozone required.  Pilot testing will define the exact amount of ozone required and the type of ozone generator equipment required.
Ozone oxidizes iron from Fe (II) to Fe (III).  Fe (III) hydrolyzes to Fe (OH)3 which precipitates to a solid form which can be filtered.  The oxidation reaction requires 0.43 mg of ozone per mg of Fe (II).  Excess ozone can be used without negative effect.  Typically, a dose of 0.50 mg/l is used.  Note that we are referring to the transferred dose of ozone since there is some loss of ozone in the dissolution process.  Fe oxidizes in the pH range of 6-9.

In general, when organic materials are present in water, more ozone may be required than the amount shown above since ozone will also oxidize these materials.  The nature of the precipitate will depend on temperature and water chemistry.

Ozone oxidizes Mn (II) to MnO2 (Mn IV) which is insoluble and can be filtered out of the water.  The oxidation reaction requires 0.88 mg of ozone per mg of Mn (II).  Excess ozone beyond this ratio will form soluble Mn (VII), permanganate, turning the water pink.  If oxidizable organic material is present in the water and there is sufficient contact time, permanganate will be reduced back to MnO2 (Mn (IV)).  Manganese oxidation is most effective around a pH of 8. 

Ozone generator output can be controlled via an ORP monitor automatically.  This prevent over or under dosing of ozone into the water. It is important to note that at start-up ozone might strip deposits of iron and manganese in the treatment plant.  During the break in period, therefore, iron and manganese may remain high until these deposits are removed. 

To learn more about ozone in drinking water treatment visit:

Post is part of the efforts of the Water Research Center and Carbon County Groundwater Guardians to education private well owners and water suppliers in our area. If you need any further information, please visit our Drinking Water Helpguide PageWater Quality Library, or search our site

Hydrogen Sulfide Removal with Ozone

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is sometimes found in ground water.  It has the odor of rotten eggs and has a threshold of 0.0011 mg/l.  It can also cause water to have characteristic and unpleasant tastes.  While aeration can be used to strip some of the hydrogen sulfide from the water, this converts a water problem to an air pollution problem if further treatment is not applied.

Hydrogen sulfide is easily and rapidly oxidized by ozone, ultimately to form sulfate. The initial oxidation is to form elemental sulfur which is seen as a light colored colloidal suspension.  Further oxidation dissolves the elemental sulfur to sulfite and continued oxidation produces sulfate. As a result, more ozone is required to produce sulfate from hydrogen sulfide than is required to produce sulfur.

The theoretical dose to oxidize ozone to sulfate is 3:1, but in practice the ratio is 4:1. This will leave a small ozone residual in the water, 0.2-0.3 ppm. This residual can be used to ensure that the hydrogen sulfide is fully removed. In the case of variable hydrogen sulfide concentration, following the residual will allow for adjustment in the ozone dosage rate to maintain complete removal of the ozone.  A dissolved ozone monitor with PID controller integrated with ozone generator power control can be used for this purpose.
Off gas from the ozonation process can strip hydrogen sulfide from water. Ozone in the off gas is often removed using an ozone destruct catalyst.  If H2S is present in the off gas the ozone destruct catalyst can be poisoned.  This means that the way the off gas is handled needs to take this issue into consideration.
Ozone has been used by the City of Orlando to remove H2S from their ground water for a number of years.  Commercial beverage companies using similar water sources have also adopted ozone for controlling this problem.  Integrated ozone water treatment systems are relatively easy to install, operate and maintain for this application. 
For More information on this topic - go to 

Post is part of the efforts of the Water Research Center and Carbon County Groundwater Guardians to education private well owners and water suppliers in our area. If you need any further information, please visit our Drinking Water Helpguide Page, Water Quality Library, or search our site