Presentation on theme: "Private Water Supply A Pennsylvania Perspective Birchwood Lakes Community Association This slide is a good opportunity to describe the work that the speaker’s."— Presentation transcript:
1 Private Water Supply A Pennsylvania Perspective Birchwood Lakes Community Association This slide is a good opportunity to describe the work that the speaker’s company does concerning the location and construction of residential water wells. The speaker should describe his/her experience with these subjects.
2 Groundwater Resource Management Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, Soil Scientist, PASEO, Licensed Well DrillerLab Director, Center for Environmental QualityWilkes UniversityEnvironmental Engineering and Earth SciencesWilkes Barre, PA 18766
3 Project SponsorsPocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development CouncilC-SAW Program - Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds ProgramPA Association of Environmental Professionals
4 Center for Environmental Quality Non-profit/ equal opportunity employer, is operated andmanaged, within the Department of EnvironmentalEngineering and Earth Sciences at Wilkes UniversityOutreach ProgramsEnvironmental and Professional Education and TrainingApplied ResearchCommunity and Business Outreach ProgramsWebsite:
5 Presentation Sponsors Carbon County Groundwater GuardiansWilkes UniversityPocono Northeast Research Conservation and Development CouncilConstorium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds
6 Components of the Water Cycle First The Ins Solar Energy Input Precipitation Condensation Well Injection IrrigationThe Outs Evaporation Transpiration Infiltration Percolation Runoff Groundwater Flow Surfacewater Flow Well Pumpingwater cycle
17 Induced Recharge or Artificial Discharge Artificial Recharge- Septic SystemsPumping Well - Artificial Discharge
18 # of homes served by private water systems Avg. Change in homes served by private water systems per year% of all homes served by public water% of all homes served by private water systemCounty198019902000Bradford13,44316,86520,287+3423763Carbon6,59412,23517,876+5645545Lackawanna9,95212,74515,538+2798614Luzerne19,99424,66229,330+4678218Monroe21,12937,24653,363+16123268Pike9,44116,87524,309+743Sullivan2,1474,7277,307+2581387Susquehanna9,42315,21221,001+5792575Tioga9,12611,88814,650+2763565Wayne9,91319,09728,281+9183367Wyoming7,2368,65710,078+1422773Region118,398180,209242,020+5624357
19 Keys to Safe Drinking Water The Sanitary Survey- Proper Site LocationState Federal and Local RegulationsTypes of Well Water SourcesWell Drilling and ConstructionInitial Water Testing- Common Water Quality ProblemsWell Water Conditioning or TreatmentWell Maintenance
20 State and Federal Regulation Currently No Federal Or Pennsylvania State Regulations Related to Private Water Well Construction.Pennsylvania has over 1 million households on Private Wells.Pennsylvania one of 2 states that has no state-wide private water well construction standards, via regulation.PA does not really have a comprehensive certification program for drilling contractors and operators.
21 Local Agency The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Surveyed second class townships acrossthe state regarding water well ordinances and waterwell related problems. Of the 1,457 townshipacross the state:601 townships responded to the survey39 of 601 townships maintain water well construction ordinances21 townships were considering and ordinance
22 Protect Your Water Source Things You or Your Community Can Do Periodically InspectDrain Surfacewater and Runoff AwayInstall Sanitary SealAnnual TestingMaintain RecordsStart a Community Based Groundwater Education ProgramCarbon County Groundwater GuardiansProper AbandonmentChemical Storage, Disposal and UseKeep Wellhead Above GradeProper Well LocationSeptic System MaintenanceRecycle used Oil and Participate in Hazardous Chemical Disposal ProgramsWell Ordinance
24 An Ungrouted A Properly Residential Well Grouted Well These two diagrams show how not to and how to construct a residential water well. A laser pointer may be used to draw attention to each design element as it is described.
25 Bedrock Fractures and Fractured Zones High Yielding WellFractured ZoneLower Yielding Well
26 Well Isolation Distances MONTGOMERY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTINDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY WELL CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS (partial listing)Delineated wetlands or floodplains (25 feet)Surface waters (25 feet) Storm water Systems (25 feet) Spray Irrigation/ Septage Disposal (100 feet)Farm silos / manure storage (200 feet) Septic Systems (100 feet)Septic Tanks/Holding Tanks (50 feet)Chemical Storage/Preparation Area (300 feet)More Information at
27 Too Close to the RoadPotential Problems 1) Damaged Casing 2) Chemical Spills 3) Road Salting Agents4) Chemical Sprays5) VandalismThis slide illustrates a well located too close to the road. Runoff from the road enters the shallow roadside ditch and infiltrates into the subsurface. A spill on the road could affect this well, especially if its casing was not grouted.
28 Well Cap Not Secure Well Cap is Off ! The stream is visible at the bottom of the glacial terrace that this well is constructed in. The water-table level in this well is 8 feet below the level of the water in the stream because the stream is perched and is loosing water to the glacial outwash aquifer.
29 Well Construction Options for Private Wells Standard Well Cap Sanitary Well CapThe bentonite grout has filled the entire well bore up to the ground surface for proper decommissioning.Allow entry for insects, small animalsSealed to prevent contamination
30 Unsanitary Well Cap Insects, Larvae and Nests / Egg Masses Mouse ColoniesSnakesBeehivesMud - when casing to close to groundTypes of Contamination - Bacteria, Pathogens, Sediment Subject to Vandalism, Salts, and Flooding
31 Why Care About Well Construction ? Poor construction can affect drinking water qualityPoor construction can contribute, promote, and facilitate pollution and contamination of the groundwater aquiferProper construction can prolong the life and yield of the wellEach bulleted item will appear separately, allowing time to discuss why each construction requirement is important to the quality of ground water produced from the well.
32 Well Construction Open Hole Bedrock Well Driveshoe
33 Casing With Driveshoe Driveshoe The blue arrow points to the drive shoe on the bottom of the casing. The role of the drive shoe should be discussed here.
34 Welding the Steel Casing The methods of fastening the sections of the casing together should be discussed here.
35 A Properly Grouted Well Tremie Pipe The animation shows where the tremie pipe is placed. The grouting process may be discussed here and the grouted well contrasted to the ungrouted well on the left.
36 Installing the Tremie Pipe The role of the tremie pipe should be discussed here.
37 Pumping in the Bentonite Grout The tremie pipe is being withdrawn as the bentonite grout has filled up the annular space around the casing from the bottom.
38 Why Test My Water ? A USGS survey found that 70% of private wells were contaminated. This contamination could result in acuteor chronic health concerns.In general, there are no regulations related to wellconstruction, placement, or required testing. It is up toyou to determine the safety of your water.EPA recommends, at minimum, an annual water test forprivate wells.
39 Primary Standards (NPDWR) National Primary Drinking Water RegulationsPrimary standards protect drinking water quality by limiting the levels ofspecific contaminants that can adversely affect public health and are knownor anticipated to occur in water. They take the form of MaximumContaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques.There are over 100 chemical and biological primary drinking waterstandards, which include: trace metals, disinfection agents, disinfection by-products, radiological, microbiological agents, and organic chemicals.Examples: Arsenic, Lead, MTBE, total coliform, Giardia, Trihalomethanes,Asbestos, Copper, Benzene, Trichloroethane, etc.
40 National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations Secondary StandardsNational Secondary Drinking Water RegulationsThese standards were established more for cosmeticEffects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (suchas taste, odor or color) in drinking water.These are not regulated standards, but recommended limits.The secondary standards include: aluminum, chloride, color,corrosivity, fluoride, foaming agents, iron, manganese, odor,pH, silver, sulfate, total dissolved solids, and zinc.
41 Comprehensive testing can cost over $2500.00 What Should I TestThe Selection of the Appropriate Testing Parameters Depends on YOUR WaterHow does it taste?Do you have odor problems ?Are there any aesthetic problems, such as: color, turbidity, grittiness, or staining ?Where are you located ?How much do you want to spend ?Comprehensive testing can cost over $
43 Note: Methane gas has no odor. OdorsRotten Egg / Musty OdorOilyMethane Like-SmellChemical/ SolventSulfate, Sulfur,Nuisance BacteriaGasoline, OilContamination orOrganic Material orNatural GasIndustrial ChemicalsNote: Methane gas has no odor.
44 Sediments and Stains Milky or Cloudy Precipitation of carbonates / sulfates, excessive air, suspended solids,aquifer materialBluish Green – Green PrecipitatesCopper, hardness, aggressive water and corrosion by-products, nuisancebacteriaBlackish Tint or Black SlimesReactions with manganese and possibly iron, nuisance bacteriaYellowish or Reddish Tint or SlimesHumic material, dissolved or precipitated iron, nuisance bacteria
45 Groundwater Pocono's Region: Pike County Based on the geology of the Pocono's region, thecommon water quality problems are as follows:Corrosive WaterLow pHSoft Water (low hardness) to Moderate HardnessIron and ManganeseDiscolored Water – Reddish to Brown TintsTotal Coliform BacteriaSulfur Odors and Elevated Sulfates
46 Coliform Bacteria Coliform Bacteria Absent or < 1 colony/100 ml Testing Purpose Used as an Indicator of Sanitary Condition of Water SourceSources Natural Soil BacteriaHuman and Animal WasteInsect Waste
47 Organic Contamination Less Common ProblemsThese water quality are not common to Groundwater inPike County.Elevated Nitrate- Nitrite Levels (local problems) Radon or Radiological (local issues) Arsenic (local issues)Organic ContaminationElevated Trace Metals(except corrosion by-products like Copper, Lead, Aluminum, Zinc) Salty or Brackish Water (very deep wells)TrihalomethanesPathogenic Organisms
48 Corrosive WaterChemical or Biochemical Reaction between the water and metal surfaces.The corrosion process is an oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable ore state.Corrosion can also be accelerated by:1) low pH and high pH;2) high flow rate within the piping;3) high water temperature;4) chemistry of the water; and4) presence of suspended solids, such as sand.Copper – Typically Blue or Blue-Green Staining May also have elevated levelsof Lead and Zinc.
49 pH pH < 7 acidic a pH > 7 basic NSDWR – 6.5 – 8.5 Problems Bitter or Alkali TasteCorrosionScale FormationLeaching Metals- Copper, Lead, Zinc, and Aluminum
50 Water Hardness, Iron, Manganese The hardness of a water is a measure of the concentration of the multivalent cations (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, etc) associated with carbonates (CO3) .Hardness is typically reported as mg /L as CaCO3 (calcium carbonate)Grains per gallon (1 gpg (US) = mg CaCO3/L ).Hardness Classification:Soft: 0 to 17 mg CaCO3/LSlightly Hard: 17 to 60 mg/L;Moderately Hard 60 to 120 mg/LHard 120 to 180 mg/LVery Hard > 180 mg/LSecondary Drinking Water Standard Iron – 0.30 mg/L (red or black)Manganese – 0.05 mg/L (black)
51 Sulfates in WaterSulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen and are a part ofnaturally occurring minerals in some soil and rock formations thatcontain groundwater. The mineral dissolves over time and is releasedinto groundwater.Hydrogen sulfide gas also occurs naturally in some groundwater. Thegas is formed from decomposition of organic compounds containedwithin the bedrock. Problems are typically found in aquifers that areshale, siltstone, peat related, or near surface sources of organic material.Sulfur-reducing bacteria, use sulfur as an energy source and are thePrimary producers of large quantities of hydrogen sulfide. Thesebacteria chemically change natural sulfates in water to hydrogen sulfide
52 Problems with Sulfates Laxative Effect- MCL 250 mg/LForm Precipitates on Piping and FixturesRotten Egg OdorsSewage Gas OdorsCorrosionWater Heater Failure/Odors
53 Radon (In Air)- Pike County, PA Pike County in the Orange Zone – Suggests indoor air radon levels are less than 4 pCi/LNumber ofMin ResultMaximum ResultAvg ResultZip CodeTestspCi/L183281222.214.171.124
54 Marcellus Shale- Natural Gas Play 50 to 200 trillion cubic feet Birchwood Lakes(approximate location)
55 Marcellus Shale Photo Outcrops Along the Southeastern Border of Pike CountyAlong Route 209
56 Getting to The Natural Gas Freshwater Well5000 to feetPossible saline waterUp to a few thousand feet
57 Marcellus Shale Drilling Site Pads can be 5+ acres – but one pad may support drillingmultiple horizontal wells.
58 Concerns Related to Marcellus Shale Based on Community Location – this should not be a major concern or impact.In general, the concerns are related to the following:Erosion and SedimentationVolume of Water Used In Hydrofracturing- 2 to 9 million gallons per well.Loss of Freshwater Aquifer or contamination by brine water and drilling fluids.Drilling fluids may contain environmental contaminations (metals and organics).Impacts to Roadways, Tourism, and Ecology
59 Active Marcellus Production Site Site Located in Chemung County, NY.
60 Project SponsorsPocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development CouncilC-SAW Program - Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds ProgramPA Association of Environmental Professionals
61 Keys to Safe Drinking Water (Private Well) SummaryKeys to Safe Drinking Water (Private Well)Proper Handling of Chemicals and WasteDevelopment of Local StandardsUnderstand Your SourceAnnual Water TestingPublic Education
62 Private Water Supply A Pennsylvania Perspective Birchwood Lakes Community Association Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well DrillerLab Director, Center for Environmental QualityWilkes UniversityEnvironmental Engineering and Earth SciencesWilkes Barre, PA 18766