(Westerville, OH — November 11, 2011) A study released last month by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania reveals the need for owners of household water wells to regularly test their water and maintain their wells, the National Ground Water Association said today.
Among the findings in the study, The Impact of Marcellus Gas Drilling on Rural Drinking Water Supplies, are:
Manganese is not a health risk, but can cause staining.
Turbidity refers to cloudiness of water. It has no health effects, but can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.
Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present such as fecal coliform (found in eight percent of wells in the Pennsylvania study).
If drinking water tests show turbidity or coliforms exceeding standards, use a qualified water well system contractor to look for possible problems.
“The National Ground Water Association recommends household water well owners annually test their water for bacteria, nitrate, and anything of local concern,” said NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens. “This should be done whether or not a well owner lives near hydraulic fracturing activity for gas.”
Treyens said NGWA also recommends household well owners get an annual water well maintenance checkup. “A maintenance inspection typically checks all the sanitary seals on a water well system. Well checkups also should determine if the well needs cleaning, since a dirty well can harbor bacteria,” he said.
Overall, the results of the water quality parameters measured in the Pennsylvania study did not indicate any obvious influence from hydraulic fracturing in gas wells nearby.
To learn more about water well maintenance and water quality, or to find a water well contractor, visit www.wellowner.org. NGWA also has recommendations on water testing in proximity to hydraulic fracturing for gas.
NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers — is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management, and use of water.
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National Ground Water Association
601 Dempsey Rd.
Westerville, OH 43081
(614 898.7791 outside the US)
fax 614 898.7786