Entries for the 'Source Water Protection' Category

02

Fall has technically just arrived, but planning for winter should already be on the radar of small communities who experience freezing temperatures. While salt application broadly causes minimal environmental impact, runoff from a storage facility can be problematic.

The Ohio EPA has a detailed guidance as well as a factsheet on salt storage with water supply protection in mind. While this guidance is most helpful for communities developing new storage facilities, it is also incredibly useful for checking for potential issues and developing best practices for salt handling. 

If you have any additional tips, we'd love for you to share in a comment! 

30

Do you have a source water protection plan? Whether you do or it's a to-do, it is helpful to understand the how and why of protecting your water supply.

This video from USGS and accompanying materials uses four examples with very different aquifer-well combinations to illustrate why some water supply wells are more vulnerable to contaminants than others. It serves as a helpful reminder than source water protection activities are not one-size-fits-all. 

22


Small communities interested in source water protection across their regional area may be interested in a new program from the team behind SmallWaterSupply.org (SWSO). PrivateWellClass.org is a basic education-focused website funded by the US EPA, in partnership with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP). 

The Private Well Class centers on a 10 week email course that teaches homeowners how to properly care for and maintain their water well. This includes introductory information on geology, well contamination and water testing. The site is designed to serve the 45 million Americans who rely on a private well for their drinking water and includes a pre- and post-test quiz to test knowledge improvement.

Understanding how to prevent groundwater contamination, both on the property and via cross-connection control, will be addressed in the lessons as well as during a series of three live webinars.  

Steve Wilson, the project manager at SmallWaterSupply.org and a career groundwater hydrologist, has combined his own knowledge with the vast resources already available on private wells. As with SWSO, the goal with PrivateWellClass.org is to distill the best information into user-friendly content and lessons. 

To date, more than 1200 individuals have signed up for The Private Well Class. Enrollment opened in early December 2012 and the team is actively reaching out to state agencies, extension offices and other organizations that serve homeowners. 

25

A youth camp led by graduate students from the University of Idaho gets students from the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane tribes involved in outdoor activities and, more importantly, hands-on scientific water study.

The camp is scheduled to continue for three years, offering students the opportunity to combine their enjoyment of the outdoors with the scientific importance of protecting watersheds, as well as the relationships between the landscape and water resources. Programs like this can help keep students interested in science, and can introduce them further to the importance of water management and environmental protections.
 
There are a number of educational resources available online to apply in your area and help engrain the importance of water and water protection. For instance, the Water Education Foundation offers elementary education materials for grades 4-6 on their website, and advanced materials for grades 7-12. Educators can even order lessons and programs from their site covering subjects from storm water to complete water science, water conservation, and more.
 
Similarly, Northern Arizona University has established an Environmental Education Outreach Program, with a variety of environmental science subjects and materials for grades K-16.
 
Introducing the importance of water protection and treatment to students not only helps improve science education levels, but helps them become interested in the crucial matters of water management that will be needed for generations to come. 
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