good afternoon everybody this is Steve Wilson from the Illinois State water Survey and this is a webinar or the private world class entitled water treatment and testing it’s a joint webinar today with some special folks with us that Sarah Wright from well at the second association of public health labs and the water quality Association have joined us today to talk about this issue they’re a lot more familiar especially with the lab side and the treatment side than we are and that we rely on these folks regularly to answer questions for us behind the scenes so it’s great to have them on I want to mention that private low class sponsoring this program is rammed through the U of I the only state water Survey it’s funded by EPA and the rural community assistance partnership our cap is our partner on this grant they’re the lead and we’re actually you know kind of working for them we run our program from the University of Illinois and it’s mostly online our cap have staff around the country and are doing more hands-on boots on the ground type of work to support well owners in all 50 states and I just did something wrong here okay so a little paperwork this is the first time we’ve had this class so normally in the pain down on the lower right side it lists all the other times we’ve had this particular class if you’re getting CEUs today or CES through Neha you know it’s a two-year credentialing cycle I just want to mention that and this is the first time we’ve hosted it so there’s no issue with you if you took the class before I understand we’re having a problem with one of the papers that you can download that’s part of this credentialing what we’ll do is we’ll have a recording of this online on our website in three to four business days and when we send out the email saying that that’s available will include the document that the handout that you can’t download right now yeah we weren’t able to get that put in place we didn’t realize it until too late so we will email that out then and if you’re in Illinois we also provide lehp credit for Illinois sanitarians so and if you have any questions about that there’s our email address the person you likely deal with this Katie Buckley who’s not with us today but yes she will she takes care of all of our CEU work so about today’s webinar again as part of this national program implemented through our cap we’re lucky to have the association of public health labs and water quality association with us today it is being recorded and it’s available on our YouTube channel or private well class it’ll be available three or four business days as I mentioned and if one of the things I want to make sure everyone understands you had a chance to ask questions at the beginning when you registered and so we had a long list of questions and we’ll answer many of those are a number of those at the end today that we actually have them on slides but if you have any questions today from what you hear from any of us you can go to the question our chat box and you can we’ll keep a list of those and we’ll answer those at the very end and yeah so just to mention if if you are a health department person or a sanitarian if you’re not working with our cap on your private well program you should they have funding from EPA to go out and put it on workshops and do assessments of wells and just basically support the work you’re doing with private well owners our cap is a partnership of six regional nonprofits and here’s the six listed here you may know them by other names you know communities unlimited in the central south and our cap Great Lakes our cap is the one that’s for Ellen oi Kentucky in that region and so if you their phone numbers and emails are URLs are here but you can also email us depend on what state you’re in we can get you in contact with the person it from that state that’s working on the private well program to at least hook up and figure out what you might be able to do together and partner up so I want to mention that and then here so we have today I’m Steve Wilson I’m a groundwater hydrologist we also have Sarah Wright from aphl and Eric yagi from water quality Association Sarah also brought with our today Lou barren Ellie who’s with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to help answer some of the lab questions and Jennifer Wilson who works with me she’s our

communications lead and she is monitoring the questions and just providing support some of the technical things that I’m not very good at so that’s what we have today and so I’m first up and we’re going to talk about testing what you should test for and why how to work with a lab and how to find work how to how to find and work with a treatment provider and so we split this up into three pieces and I’m delivering the first part but we will get to the question box I guess I got ahead of myself Jennifer’s monitoring that and so with that I show this slide a lot because I it’s just that it’s that neat the water survey has been around since 1895 it was developed it was created by the state legislature to investigate typhoid and cholera outbreaks back in the 1890s and this is from our files we pulled it and we’re actually doing a we’re scanning all of this information millions of paid pieces of paper that go back to 1895 this is 125th anniversary and it’s just an example they did an investigation here and found out it was a peanut ice cream company where the typhoid was coming from and it wasn’t their ice cream it was their milk which seven different farmers brought in milk to a big tank and everyone used the same bucket to get milk out that they bought from the ice cream company and that’s that’s how it was back then so it’s just an example of our history and the fact that we’ve been dealing with public health issues as well as you know groundwater surface water and some of those other things for a long time so white asked I grew up in an old Doug well on a hog farm in central Illinois when it rained hard our water was muddy we had it was it was probably always contaminated but that’s what I grew up with and because Wells aren’t regulated it’s really up to you as a well owner to make sure your water safe and the difference is you know go to the third bullet here now I live in town and I’m on city water and the Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law that requires every public water supply to make sure they’re water safe so they test the water they make sure all the pipes are secure you have water pressure someone is who’s a professional and has a license is in charge of your water system and is adding treatment that’s needed depending on where you live and what your constituents are and so all of that is your responsibility as well honor and now living in a community I pay forty to fifty dollars a month for my water which is then that ensures that it’s safe so and going back to the second bullet there water can be the best-tasting and safest in the world a lot of ground water is but they’re also contaminants that are colorless odorless and have no taste and so you don’t know if you don’t test and that’s a theme I think several of the questions you know the first the first solution is to test and that’s what a lot of people just don’t do the last thing here I want to mention is that we find that many times the problems people have with Wells are because they either have poor well construction a lot of Wells who were that were put in before current well code or grandfathered in and so there may not be sealed at the surface so they may not be properly constructed and the other is the lack of understanding of well owners on what their risk really is and how to take care of their well and that’s where our class comes in so the more you educate yourself about your well and realize that you are the water operator for a very small water system the better off you’ll be and that’s why you know community water supply tests every three months and that’s that’s to make sure safe for the people they’re serving and they’re liable if it’s not so anyway yeah that’s that’s why you test as far as testing goes what we recommend is you test your well annually anytime there was been opened or if we notice anything different with the way your water tastes smells or looks and so as far as what you test for it really depends on your situation and the depth of your well there’s a lot of things that come into play there if how’s your well constructed are you in a vulnerable geology and I’m going to give you a list on the next slide of what we recommend in general but you also need to understand that there could be known contaminants in your area that are just naturally occurring like arsenic or uranium that aren’t everywhere and so some places you might want to test for those and others you don’t or you wouldn’t need to and so knowing those things call your Health Department state or your local County Health Department if there’s something in the water in your area they likely know it and so you

should you know again be informed talk to others and they’ll tell you if there’s something in there and as far as testing annually you sample for coliform and nitrate annually because they indicate a pathway to your well you know they’re not necessarily harmful but if they can get in your well and be at levels above background especially for not for nitrate that means that there’s a pathway into your well from the surface and that’s a problem that means if anything else is spilled near your well it’s going to get in your well as as well and so it’s a good way it’s a cheap way to sample your well once a year and be assured that at least the integrity of your well and the way it’s been constructed and the way it’s sealed is still in place so a couple examples this is Rhode Island and this is on the state of Rhode Island health department’s website and all the little dots there are where there used to be orchards where they used a lot of arsenic and so they put this page up to say if you’re near one of these old orchards there’s so much arsenic in the ground in the soil then it’s began because it’s starting to infiltrate into the aquifers there and that you should test for arsenic the big splotch that’s in the middle is beryllium and when I found this probably six or seven years ago on their website I did not realize beryllium was a regulated contaminant and when I say a regulated contaminant that means the Safe Drinking Water Act has it classified as a primary health risk and so a community water supply has to treat to make sure that the levels of that contaminant are below a certain unsafe level and so if you’re in Rhode Island and you’re in the middle of the state you need to test for beryllium which I probably have never recommended to anyone outside of Rhode Island because you just don’t see it that I know of and so there may be somebody who could probably refute that but so that’s one example of doing your homework if you live in Rhode Island you can go to the Department Health’s website and see this map a couple other examples are one other example some states this is Wisconsin they’re DNR regulates well construction and drillers and they also do a lot of testing this and and their community water supplies they’ve developed this tool online I search for arsenic by county and for all the private wealth samples they have and they’re in their records it lists what the typical level is or what the average level is in that county and you can see near Green Bay there are three counties there in red where the average arsenic sample is over 21 parts per billion the health standard for the Safe Drinking Water Act is ten parts per billion and so anything over ten is considered unsafe and wouldn’t be allowed in a community water supply and again for private wells you’re on your own you can drink are you can drink water with arsenic of 100 ppb if you want to it’s just not recommended from a health standpoint so these tools are available and the whole point is if you want to find out what you should test for you should look at all these avenues and talk to professionals before you actually go and and do so so here’s what we recommend and again we run a national program and so we kind of made a list what would be you know good set of information to have so that someone who understands water quality issues can take a look at this and give you an idea you know what it might mean even for aesthetic things like high iron and some of those things or if the for sulphate or whatever so we recommend every three to five years you test for these things in the example I’ll give you there as you know if in a especially in a deeper aquifer like one of our sand gravel aquifers is buried under 200 feet of till here in Illinois I have some monitoring wells that have been in place since the early 90s we sample them about every eight to ten years the arsenic level in those wells are almost always identical very close if it’s if it’s three or four it’s three or four every time if it’s 80 it’s near 80 every time groundwater is slow to change and if you’re in an aquifer that’s not influenced a lot by the surface a lot of these constituents should stay nearly the same your hardness is always going to be hard you know here have hard water if you do all that sort of thing and the pH should be very similar and if something’s changed over those last three to five years then you need to figure out why and that’s kind of the reason why you should test fairly regularly with that that’s what I that’s my part of the show today and so next I think we’re gonna go to Sarah Wright from the water quality Association and so Jennifer is gonna share her screen and we’ll go from there great thanks to

you can everybody hear me I can hear you great thank you all right well good afternoon everybody so my name is Sarah Wright and the environmental laboratories manager for the association of public health laboratories and as steve said earlier so i’ll be addressing the how and the where of well water testing there we go okay so i’m from the association of public health laboratories our vision is a healthier world through quality laboratory systems and we try to accomplish that by helping public health laboratories to do their best work so our members are governmental laboratories at the state and local level and they might have public health environmental or agricultural in their name so this is the Utah lab the Massachusetts environmental lab butyl public health lab Massachusetts environmental lab and the North Carolina agricultural lab so when I was thinking about this presentation I was thinking well if I moved into a house and I had a private well I for the first time I didn’t know what to do how would I go about doing that and so what were the questions that would come up with and so these are the questions that I was trying to answer through this presentation so overall the main ones the test kit or lab a certified lab or not what is the process your results come back and what do they mean and we’ll go through some of the specifics throughout this presentation so the labs that I correspond with to kind of answer these questions were 24 state public health laboratories and 12 local public health laboratories and you can see them on this map so first questions so I’m a homeowner of about three years and so I would love to be able to just go to Amazon or the hardware store to buy a test kit it makes me feel independent and like I can get my own answers but I don’t really know that much about them personally I looked online to see the range of what they are offering the price is kind of around $18 to $200 for a variety of parameters it’s pretty fast it’s convenient in comparison the lab is might be anywhere from nothing because some labs sponsor private well water testing up to maybe $400 even more or in between a lot of reasonable prices as well it can take anywhere from 1 to 30 days and it’s not always convenient I was trying to think well are there any studies that compare the two and I didn’t really didn’t find much out there there a couple blog posts but I think what it comes down to is what is your goal are you curious are you just trying to just see how these water test kits what they come up with or do you need to make a decision about whether or not your drinking water is safe and whether or not your family is going to be drinking healthy water whether or not your business is going to be using it and maybe providing that water to other people and then you’ll be held liable it depends upon your with what kind of test you want to do and the big difference is the difference in again guarantee of quality so kids may be prone to interferences from water constituents whereas lab equipment and methods are designed to remove most interferences and labs should operate under a quality assurance management system that provides high quality data and then fully discloses any of those potential interferences or artifacts that might affect the reported results with the test kits of validity though the results are all on you whereas with labs you get trained professional support for the entire process of sampling to results and then potentially from determining what to test for earlier on in this in the process to the results interpretation afterwards and labs should stand behind their results and they should hold up in court but that also brings us to the question alright should I use a certified lab so again what is your goal if you want it to stand up in court if you want to make sure that the answer that you’re getting that you’re investing into a decision that you can go forward with immediately so if you’re going to be investing into a water treatment system you want to know that the test results that what you paid for that you’ve got an answer that you can move move forward with when I ask the majority of the lab scientists through that little survey I did the majority of them said definitely use their certified lab and that’s because they know what goes into the certified lab process so a certified lab is evaluated by a third-party using a consistent process and a set of standards they really take the bias out of the whole situation they it’s more about the system versus the individual their whole series of checks and balances along the way that make sure that the individual cannot mess up the results it’s possible but there are lots of ways to track it and to determine where during the process something may have fallen short and so the lab the methods and sometimes the analyst in certain states are certified certified labs go through annual audits and proficiency tests and those are reported to the state so it’s a whole system of third parties that are in and unbiased checkpoints that try to make sure that when you analyze a sample for something

that you know that the result that you get out of there has gone through the method as it should so if I decide okay yeah I do want a certified lab how do I find a certified lab so most all the states across the country regardless of me talking to just 24 states have websites that lists the certified drinking water labs other potential sources could be pamphlets or the local health department your Extension offices in North Dakota for example they actually just need to directly call the state lab and the chemists will tell you which ones can be used here are a couple different website examples of certified labs and there’s lists on those state pages so if I were to google search just certified drinking water lab in California the first three results that come up are all related to the California’s environmental lab accreditation program both the top two results would get me where I need to go but it’s really that third result which shows the map of the certified labs across the state of California and beyond California as well and so here you can see a screenshot of your result for California for all the state labs or Starkville the certified labs by the state of California and then if I want if I was living in Santa Cruz and I said okay well let me see what the city of Santa Cruz water quality lab can test for I think I want to test for coliform and nitrate which do you gave the example of and I want to make sure that they’re certified at microbiology and inorganic chemistry so it looks like they are I would click on more info and then here’s the list of the different analytes or the contaminants that they test for along with the type of method that they do and I can see that they do total coliform and also nitrate and so hopefully this would be a good match and I would contact them to do more this is another example of certified lab list in a county level Tulare County California has provided this list of local labs for just for their um you know their audience and it has listed all the different analytes that would be needed for private while testing so how do i order tests through a lab so also a theme of this presentation and just like what Steve said earlier is that just for the most part you’re gonna always communicate with it lab to see exactly what the process is but for this one so typically we go online or call them each lab has their own in place orbs our own process in place and there are a few exceptions of for how that might run in a state and so for example in New Jersey you would call the lab program manager and they would walk you through the process from the beginning of what do you need to test for through the end of the results interpretation so sort of a a good guide approach in North Carolina you actually wouldn’t directly interface with your state lab you would go through the local health department and they would do everything for you from that they would actually come out to take the sample and then they would send it to the State Health lab and then they would never get the results back and correspond with the state epidemiologist who would then provide a health risk evaluation in Colorado they have an online ordering system and in Brasenose County Texas you bring in the sample in the required form and that’s considered in order so that’s just a couple of examples of how it plays out in some states this is on the Georgia Extension Service how you order a total coliform test you click on that form such a sir she’s a quick example so how do I get my supplies to samples so the most common way between all the labs I talked to was mail or pickup in person most now require the homeowner to collect and transport or mail to the sample but there are some exceptions so in Fairfax County Virginia they like to keep track of all the wells and so if the wells not an assist in their kind of tracking system though actually send out an environmental health technician if you want to go out and to ID it through GIS and then they inspect the wellhead and then they’ll also take a sample yeah if it’s that first time you know Paso County Colorado they have test kits at four different sites throughout the county like at the fire department and a couple different health sites in Saginaw County Michigan you can get the county to come out and take the sample but they will charge you a fee in Connecticut the local health department’s kind of similar to the North Carolina model they help owners to determine tests and provide containers and no fees are charged and in South Carolina you would visit your local Department of Health and Environmental Control office this is an example of the Allegheny County Pennsylvania pamphlet that they show their citizens how to pick up private or well water sample kits at different locations throughout the county so how do i sample exactly so typically they’re going to be printed instructions

provided with your sample bottles and then also on the website like I said the sample bottles should be provided because you need to make sure that the correct bottle is used for the correct test just like the whole quality control certified system that you have for the lab the bottles themselves aren’t followed that same process you want to make sure that they are sterile if you’re going to be collecting for bacteria or they have the right type of preservative if it’s a certain type of organic or inorganic in Fairfax County Virginia they have private companies that you can hire out and in Saginaw County Michigan and raise those County Texas with the kit pickup they would also provide verbal instructions so here a couple of examples of the instructions on the Left you’ll see Tulare County California their written instructions in the centers of Wisconsin state lab with hygiene some instructions with some pictures and on the right you see Indiana’s video that provides information about how to sample so how do I get the samples to the lab once I’ve taken that sample now there any special considerations that I should be aware of so most labs you deliver it in person or you ship through the post office UPS FEDEX or a courier but just keep in mind that typically with the courier or maybe there are other circumstances as well but this is but a lot of labs mentioned the couriers that you need a chain of custody form and that is in line with making sure that the whole process is is tracked you know where that lab that sample has been what condition it has been kept under and that continues to verify and validate the results at the end so particular examples at in braises County Texas so the employee that’s receiving the sample must actually see it come in on ice or they won’t accept it in Indiana the bacteria samples must be delivered within 30 hours the nitrate bottles they you would put filter paper with acid in there and I guess they would probably have it in there already but that makes them good for 28 days so you have a little bit longer to drop them off and then if they you bring in metals then they would actually preserve them at the lab because they don’t want people to be dealing with acid vials and trying to preserve that in Maine they include an ice pack included with samples that need to be kept cold to ensure that you have that resource and then the temperatures are measured upon receipt at the lab so hopefully that ice pack is working in New Hampshire you want to make sure that your bacterial samples are less than 10 degrees Celsius and your organic samples are less than 6 degrees Celsius so just a couple of examples of some of the specifics that the labs will ask of you so what information is needed with the sample see was mentioned before that there are lots of different pieces to this puzzle of trying to figure out what is your water quality exactly and so what is the water source you know is it from a well is a public water system that maybe you’re comparing it to is it a spring that will all help to know kind of what’s being tested and the results and interpretation of that based upon the source sample source you know it’s in the kitchen tap larger tap is a hot or cold tap is it before or after water treatment those are all good pieces of information to provide what’s your reason for testing is that your annual test is it a new well that you want to test everything for or is it for real estate purposes or investigation the date and time a collection samplers initiative initials the type of well sometimes that a lot of this stuff can be optional just depends upon what the lab would like to see the completed submission form that you can custody if required and then the order form must match the sample label that to make sure that everything can line up correctly a couple of examples of the water test request form so this is from Wisconsin where they do ask for the reason for the tests and the sample source and some well information in Colorado they asked for the collection temperature you know if you want your report emailed or faxed so just some some different ways of the labs one about this and in Georgia this is the Extension Office submission form they asked for the well diameter on the world debt so there might be different reasons why they asked for these things whether it helps them to to just get a better sense of what the sample is trying to represent or maybe you know if they they do try and get a sense of how many wells are around the county and how deep they are and that kind of information so the results are back what do they mean exactly certified labs will always stand by their result and they should likely couldn’t communicate their results in terms of the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Act requirements they should indicate

the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements maximum contaminant level for each analyte and you should be able to tell if your sample result is above or below the lab will stand by the result but they may not always try to interpret the result for you because the labs intention are they’re kind of under their purview is to analyze the tests and get you the result is not necessarily interpreted but sometimes they their responsibility can go beyond that as well so a couple examples of how this is done so in Allegheny County Pennsylvania the Water Pollution Control Department will directly contact the submitter if the samples test positive for e.coli and then provide information regarding this and so if it’s a negative test you typically would get the test results back pretty quickly if the positive test sometimes they have to do some confirmation testing on top of that but then once they know for sure in most labs I heard say this but if they see a positive test outside of the maximum contaminant levels it seems like they do try to contact the lab or contact the the submitter as soon as possible in North Carolina I mentioned kind of that full-service approach the environmental epidemiology section will provide the health risk evaluation which helps the submitter to interpret the results in Texas they recommend actually going to private well class and to their sampling and interpreting results section in South Carolina they’ll send documentation for different if different analytes go over they’ll send you kind of a booklet to explain what those mean so how long will it take me for you could take for me to get my results back it really does vary by the lab and you can communicate with a lab and if you need a results back by a certain time definitely communicate that with them a lot of times they will be able to do expedited turnaround times if they have if they’re rush fees associated with it but that’s definitely you know communication that you would have with the lab directly it can take anywhere from really one day to thirty days because there’s so many different parameters that are tested but like I said before anywhere from a day to three days for bacteria 72 hours for certain metals and then maybe up to 28 days for lead so those are just examples and you’d have to get the exact specifications from the lab that you’d work with so what formats for my results be in so this varies by lab of course but the typical one is the printed official lab report that meets the certification body standards they would mail it fax it or you would go pick it up they might also PDF it and then email it to everybody or email it to the sample submitters they’re also all auto-generated emails with the results in some cases and then some states or local labs have an online customer portal so as part of being certified the report should have some required information on it so which ant analyses did they run for you what was the laboratory reporting limit for those analyses and so whether it’s a minimum or a maximum standard was a result and it compares them what are the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act of limits and then sometimes they might include interpretations of what those results are in comparison to the limits and then you also want to make sure that the results are in comparable units and so you compare apples to apples one thing to be to note is just is it a milligram per liter in a parts per million or is it a parts per billion unit and parts were trying just want to make sure that all those things match up when you are reading the results this is an example of a metals report from Indiana so you can see the element they have arsenic lead and copper and then the laboratory reporting limit those are in micrograms per liter all three columns across the top there and micrograms per liter so that’s a good thing they have your result and also the EPA limit and then the type of analysis another example of a bacterial report from Indiana and this one they show that the bacteria is absent and their interpretation is that that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act guidelines and so it’s a satisfactory result so how do I know to trust the quality so this goes back on the certified labs talk a little bit but really you should only use the certified drinking water labs that use EPA approved methodology labs should let you know which analyses that they’re certified and which ones are not they may not always put that on the lab

report but you should be able to ask them and they should be able to tell you or maybe they have that written up somewhere the data must meet certain standards of quality before it can be released or it should be qualified and so that way that also helps to know if for sure that it can be it can stand up in court and so if it if something happened along all those different checks and balances along the way then they might have to put a qualifier like because required holding times as the preservation techniques cannot be met the reporter results are approximations and are intended for informational purposes only and you can follow up with a lab to see exactly how you can use that information to go forward another way is they just asked the lab to review their quality control data or maybe their quality control program overall I know everybody has a ton of time to do all this but it’s these are options for you if you really want to make sure that you can trust the quality you can talk with somebody about the handle about how they handle the samples even visit the lab certain potentially they’ve been all allowed for visitors but it’s a possibility and certain questions to ask would be how long is your lab maintain their certification or who are they certified by are they certified for EPA methods or a number of different kind of questions that can help you to understand where they’re coming from what the lab what kind of rigorous system that they follow and how I expect to understand the results particularly in context of what to do next so the report should say what the normal ranges are and then there might be attached fact sheets or pamphlets on what to do next they’re typically frequently asked questions on the website and the staff is generally always available and willing to explain I mean at least within 24 to 48 hours they’ll be available if it’s the high season or something and then they’re all you know many many state and local resources if by chance you’re not able to get the information from the lab that you’re working with you can go through your environmental health or Environment Department’s health department’s the Bureau of safe drinking water environmental analyst specialists epidemiologist sanitarians Extension offices almost guarantee that through every single state if you were able to get in contact you’d be able to find resources or at least one of these these options if not all of them so here’s the EPA national and primary drinking water regulations and so they get that way you can go straight to the source on all the different contaminants that they have the health bit based levels established and you know kind of compare that to your lab report this is Indiana’s frequently asked questions and it kind of goes into some of the the next steps this is from Colorado they you know I’ve mentioned that what indicates an unsafe sample or what sorry getting lost in a little in the report here but but it sort of goes into that that next level of description analysis for the interpretation of the results and finally the New Hampshire be well informed guide is a great great resource for helping to interpret your results it seems like it’s open access and anybody can get to it which is great it’s not just for New Hampshire residents although you may be able to tell us differently but this is the homepage where you go into it and then you’re able to enter the results of your drinking water you get the result from your lab report and say put in arsenic or or lead in this example I did that I had a really really high amount of lead of 20 milligrams per liter which is enormous Lee I I was from an anonymous New Hampshire town or city and from entering in that result the be well informed app was able to tell me or in this case was the website they do also have an app that based upon that result of 20 milligrams of per liter of lead in my drinking water which is way above the point zero one five milligrams per liter of EPA standards I would want to treat my system with a whole-house acid neutralizer and there are lots of other information that they give via below this Web little snapshot you see here but it’s a great great resource set kind of walks you through everything and really explains it very nicely in Pennsylvania so in Allegheny County they would take Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection

factsheet on what do you do to disinfect your home Owen Springs so if your bacteria result came back as present and positive then this is the next step that you want to take according to Allegheny County in Pennsylvania and so what if I don’t understand it despite all those different resources or what I might get back basically all the labs it seemed they always said just contact us call us we’ll be happy to explain in North Carolina you can contact the environmental epidemiologist New Hampshire you have to be well informed at any time that you may run into some barriers or if it’s unresponsive contact some of those resources I’ve mentioned before the healthy Environment Agency state agencies eventually you will get through to somebody that would be happy to help you and last thoughts so the most common questions that the lab seem to get around private well water was that many times the private well owners were surprised that that this was on them that they that their water wasn’t protected for health standards and that they needed to do the homework in order to make sure that their family was protected but the certified labs can be a great resource to help combat that and one of the things that a couple of people said was don’t be afraid to call us sometimes I got one example of somebody saying that the lab was working with somebody they were afraid that they were going to come out and shut down their well but because the private well water is not regulated in most cases they really can’t they and labs don’t have that authority anyways and so they’re really there just to help and with any of this information that I mentioned we’re trying to find resources within your state please contact me if you have any issues and I can help you get what you need and here’s my contact information and I will pass it off to Eric now thanks Sarah hey we had a couple of people comment about the number of the links that you posted and wanting to be able to click on those we will make well one this is being recorded so it will be available online we’ll also because folks need CEUs a lot of times they have to have a copy of the slides we will be able to hand out a PDF version of all the presentations together afterward and so we can’t get you a copy of that right now but we can we will be able to after the fact so you can go back through and click on some of those links or not click on them necessarily but at least get them the right URLs yeah and I think unfortunately mine are not hyperlinked but at least eight hours and that’s fine I can still access on yes all right Eric you’re up alright thank you Steve so my name is Eric yeah I’m the director of technical affairs for the water quality Association and my portion of the talk is going to talk about I was going to focus on the treatment side so what do you do once you’ve found that there is a contaminant in your well that you’re concerned about so first first I just wanted to provide a little bit of information about wqa and who we are we are a resource and an information source a voice for the industry an educator for professionals a laboratory for product testing and a communicator to the public we have over 2,500 member companies located internationally and we offer a number of programs and services for our members this talk is going to focus mostly on these first three here the product certification professional certification and education this slide just shows our mission to advocate for the betterment of water quality I also wanted to mention that there are three key core values here that will tie in with this talk ethics and integrity science-based decision-making and performance-based standards and you’re going to see as I go through this why we feel those three things are so important okay so you’ve got something in your well water now what do you do I’m going to break this down into kind of two different angles first maybe you’re a do-it-yourselfer and then we’ll talk about product certification installation instructions and product limitations you should be aware of and second maybe you’re not to do it yourself type and you just prefer to hire someone so how do you find an ethical professional what is a professional certification educational about what does it mean what does it mean to you and questions you might want to ask a water-treatment professional so first a good news there

are solutions there are in-home treatment solutions available to deal with every contaminant that you’re likely to find in your well water this includes all the common stuff arsenic bacteria hardness lead nitrate radionuclides and even emerging contaminants like DFAS and many many others the first step is Steve and Sarah talked about is always testing there are many different treatment technologies unfortunately there’s no single technology which going which is going to magically remove all contaminants so I can’t just tell you all you need to do is install X Y or Z in order to achieve the desired result which is water that is palatable to you and safe for your family to drink you’re going to need to test first confirm which contaminants are in your water and then match up those test results with the right treatment solutions one of the things you should know is that do-it-yourselfers that not all filters are created equal I often see media reports suggest you know you know you have lead you just need to install a filter and some filters will in fact protect you from lead but it might surprise you to learn that most filters won’t provide adequate protection from lead and drinking water they’re simply not designed to do that this is why wqa recommends that consumers are concerned about lead need to look for products which are certified to remove lead the EPA has actually developed a helpful tool specifically to help consumers identify filters that are certified to remove lead and I’ve included the link for it here and they’ve developed this tool just because it’s such a common common contaminant that people are concerned about now but the same is true for all these other technologies even with ROIC consumer guidance suggesting private loan owners should use reverse osmosis to protect their family from nitrate in drinking water especially in agricultural areas and some RO systems will in fact remove nitrate but again would it surprise you to learn that the majority of RO systems that we test for nitrate removal actually fail so you don’t want those products that have failed the test and and aren’t going to remove the contaminants you want you want the products that have been proven to remove the contaminants you’re concerned about and this is why we strongly recommend that consumers look for certified products so let’s talk a little bit more about product certification this is just a general overview which kind of breaks it down into four different aspects that most of the standards focus in on one is material safety structural integrity performance and then literature and I’ll go through each of those four in brief here for you the first one material safety testing and we are going to collect multiple products and expose them to waters that are designed to be worse case they will be often multiple PHS involved for example and what we’re looking for is based on the formulation or the materials that are used to make this product what is likely to leech out of the product what could be a contaminant that has picked up during the manufacturing process or through the formulation that might leach out of the product so for example carbon if it comes from coal source might contain arsenic so if if your if the product is a filter we’re going to be looking to see if it reaches any arsenic out and lead could leach out of copper brass bronze things like that so if the product contains any fittings that are say brass or bronze then we’re going to be looking for lead so we will review all of this information to just determine what might potentially chout of the product and make sure that nothing is leeching out of the product you know in love at levels that would be unsafe because we obviously don’t want this products adding things to your water there would be harmful the whole intent here is that they need to be removing things the structural integrity testing is designed to ensure that your your basement doesn’t end up looking like this picture of the home on the right here you don’t want your basement flooded because the product burst or leaks and you don’t want under counter water damage due to leaking of a filter or ro system that was installed into the counter this slide also goes a little bit into a little bit about the testing how this testing is done it’s again designed to be extremely rigorous in worst case this is one example from one of the standards there’s two tests involved in this standard there’s a hydrostatic pressure test it’s done at three times the maximum working pressure or 300 psi whichever is worst case so if the manufacturer comes to me and says my product is rated for up to 50 psi three times 50 is 150 versus three hundred three hundred is worst case so we are going to test that product even though they’ve said it’s you know good up to 50 we’re going to crank it up to 300 psi and make sure it does not leak and if it

leaks it won’t pass and it won’t be certified the cycle pressure testing part of this standard is again extremely rigorous it’s a hundred thousand cycles from zero to 150 psi or the max working pressure so again if they’ve told me that max working pressure is 50 worst-case is 150 so we’re going to hit it with a hundred thousand cycles from zero to a hundred and fifty psi and see if it leaks and if it leaks then it would not pass the test and would not get certified this last example here is performance testing again it’s going to it’s always designed to be extremely rigorous in worst case it’s going to involve multiple test units we will look at different pH values to determine which pH value is worst case based on the chemistry of removing that particular contaminant in this example here it’s an example based on lead removal and it was for a filter the filter contained the filter was had a built in performance indicating device which is a light that goes off telling you it’s time to change the filter so in that case the standard requires that we go to one hundred and twenty percent of the capacity so if the if the manufacturer said this is good for 120 gallons we’re going to go to a hundred and forty four gallons a case the light had gone off and you forgot to change the filter and we’re going to make sure that it’s continuing to remove lead out to one hundred and forty four gallons now in this same standard if the product did not have a performance indicating light so if there was no obvious visual signal that’s telling you hey it’s time to change the filter then the standard would require that we go to two hundred percent of the capacity so if the manufacturer said it was good to 120 gallons we’re going to go to two hundred and forty gallons and make sure that that product is still removing lead and all this has done again just this rigor is built into these tests to give safety buffers to the consumer so if you forget to you know if you forget to change the filter or if you have pressure spikes you know you can still be assured that if it’s a certified product you’re not going to have problems lastly the literature review ensures that the consumer is provided with important instructions on use limitations on use the maintenance requirements and that the scope of certification is clearly stated so as not to miss Lee to consumer so the limitations of use and the maintenance are extremely reportin and I’m going to come back to those in a second but also the scope is important they if the product is only certified for material safety then we’re going to review the literature make sure that that’s the manufacturers is accurately reflecting that that they’re not trying to mislead the consumer into thinking this is also certified to remove XY and Z it’s only certified for material safety so we talked about the rigor built into the testing but how rigorous is the process itself it starts with the disclosure and review of all the confidential Billo materials the formulations their suppliers the wetted surface areas their manufacturing locations their manufacturing process basically to certify a product we need to know everything there is to know about how that product is made so there’s a lot of confidential information and we have to keep you have to be sensitive to that and keep that highly confidential to protect the manufacturers intellectual property there is also the product testing under worst case conditions which we just talked about there’s the literature review which we just talked about and then finally there’s routine factory audits to ensure that there are no unauthorized changes to the product there’s no manufacturing creep and that they have effective quality management systems in place to make sure that you know each product comes off the line and it meeting a certain quality specification so there’s a lot of rigor built into this process and that’s why we strongly recommend consumers look for certified products the certification bodies who do this type of testing are listed here on this slide and all of their seals are across the bottom of the slide so on the packaging you should be able to find if it’s a certified product on the packaging it should say this product is certified by wqa to standard XYZ or it’s been certified by NSF to standard XYZ or whoever the certifier is it should be named on the packaging and you should be able to see their seal on the packaging as well and then you can contact the certification body or go to their website and confirm that that product has actually been certified and that you’re not being mislead all you need is the manufacturer and the model number and you should be able to go to their website and pull up that manufacturer model number certification this lie just throwing this up here to make consumers aware that there are a number of different standards for different types of products so these first two here 42 and 53 focus on filters for example 44 looks at water softeners 55 looks at UV

microbiological systems and 58 looks our reverse osmosis really this this doesn’t really that important to consumers only to make you aware that there’s going to be these different standards listed on this certification statement the important thing though is to look for who certified it not necessarily what standard they certified it to look for who certified it then you can go to their website and you can confirm with the manufacturers make and model number what it is actually certified for if it’s certified for performance claims if it’s certified to remove lead arsenic nitrate all those things will be listed on the certification so the bottom line product certification offers consumers peace of mind that a water treatment product has undergone rigorous testing by a third-party and that will perform as advertised lastly on the topic of certification I wanted to touch on compliance versus certification sometimes you will see products on the market where the manufacturer says this product you know this ro system is compliant with complies with NSF ANSI standard 58 for a reverse osmosis system so what does that mean that they’re saying the manufacturers saying its complaint it just it’s a self declaration by the manufacturer it just means that there’s been no third-party verification none of those certification bodies have verified it it’s a self declaration by the manufacturer so that’s the difference between compliance and certification all right for the do-it-yourselfers out there the most common cause of failure is improper installation not paying attention to the product limitations that are in the literature and there are hundreds of examples that I could have used here but I just selected a few to give you some idea of what I’m talking about here so first example here granular carbon filters and this is really true for any type of filter cartridge that has a granular media of some type they must be installed in a vertical position not in an angle or on their side if you install it in an angle or on its side you’re going to cause what we call channeling and in that case it will not remove the contaminants that you’re hoping it’s going to remove you won’t get adequate removal of the contaminants the RO systems are all tested at a specific line pressure and you need to provide that much line pressure in order to get the adequate contaminant removal if you don’t provide that much line pressure again you’re not going to get the the contaminant removal that you’re hoping for some systems will come with a pre-filter to capture sediment that could damage the system others you may need to install one so again pay attention in the literature whether there’s any requirements like that in terms of if you have turbidity or sediment in your water do you have to install a pre-filter does it already have a pre-filter there may be also requirements for the specific levels of hardness that would fowl the the system and you may need to do some pretreatment for hardness so always read the the instructions and also again the maintenance requirements almost every system is going to have some type of maintenance requirements and if you don’t keep up on that maintenance it’s going to stop performing and so pay attention to the literature look for maintenance requirements and any limitations on use and specific instructions on installation alright so maybe you’re not a do-it-yourselfer there’s still an easy solution you can contact a water treatment professional who will actually go through all that testing part that Sarah talked about and match up your test results with the right treatment options going through the WIA website to find a water treatment provider in your area and have concluded the link for that search here this is going to return only companies that have agreed to follow wqa strict code of ethics the w a code of ethics it’s a standard of conduct for our members in dealing with customers amongst themselves with members of the related industries and with the public at large and I’ve included a link for it here city you can see what’s in the code of ethics and customers who are working with a WI member who they feel has acted unethically should contact wqa and ask to file a code of ethics complaint against that member you can also use the WI website to search for a certified water treatment professional in your area this returns and it’s a separate link here which I’ve included it returns only certified professionals who have agreed to follow the wqa code of ethics so what is a certified professional this is someone who’s completed nearly a year-long course of study they successfully passed a comprehensive exam and they complete 20 to 30 hours of continuing water treatment education every three years and of course they’ve agreed to uphold and abide by awas code of ethics our goals for training and certification of these professionals include knowledge of drinking water

regulations a focus on properly identifying the water contaminants and back testing and sometimes there’s other ways to identify those contaminants and correct treatment solutions selection the need for correctly sized equipment systems installed to appropriate codes plumbing codes things like that building codes and an emphasis on ethical business practices and then documented practical experience in the field this light here shows you the the seals that are associated with those various professional designations so that you can recognize when someone is certified so let’s talk about some misleading tactic so you should watch out for this first one here this first example starts usually starts with somebody knocking on your door they say I am from wqa and I’m here to test your water this person may even be wearing a WI shirt when they may have a business card with our logo on it the important part is after testing your water this person then tries to sell you a treatment system that’s the point at which you need to show this person the door this individual should be reported to wqa and your local authorities for fraudulent sales practices employees of wqa will never try to sell you anything however some of the most qualified water treatment professionals in the world are members of wqa so don’t be alarmed if a salesperson says I’m a member of wqa all they mean is I’m a member of W a have agreed to follow that code of ethics that we talked about so they’re just telling you about that then their membership and you can also use the links that I previously provided to verify verify their membership and wqa if you feel like maybe this person isn’t really a member you can use those links that I’ve provided to verify their membership or you can simply call our front desk and ask to verify their membership the second misleading tactic to watch out for is often called the electrode test or sometimes called the precipitation test the electrode test is a very simple test that can be done in the home to visually quantify the hardness in your water it usually starts with you adding some they put your water in a clear glass jar or beaker add some chemicals and then they turn some electrodes put some electrodes in there turn them on and it will turn a yellow orange green or blackish coloration depending upon the level of hardness now hardness can damage your pipes your fixtures your water heater appliances and raise your energy bill but it is not a health concern so if this test ends with some sort of hyperbole like oh my gosh look at all the pollution you’ve been drinking again it’s time to show that sales rep the door an ethical salesperson might say something like don’t be alarmed by the yucky appearance of your water during this test I’m just measuring the amount of hardness in your water and hardness is not a health concern and then they might go on to explain all the negative impacts of hardness which are not related to health impacts you know to damage your water heater can damage your pipes makes it more difficult to you have to do a lot of cleaning on your fixtures and your shower door etc etc be aware – there’s also a chemical version of this test it doesn’t involve the electrodes just involves chemicals and forms of precipitate but again bottom line is if somebody’s doing a hardness test in there representing that as pollution a health concern you know that’s misleading tactic here are some questions you might want to ask a water-treatment professional before you decide to purchase are you a W a certified water specialist a certified sales representative or a certified installer how long have you been in business and who can I call for a referral will you be installing and servicing the device is that free and if not will it cost me will you provide free follow-up testing a few months after installation to ensure that the equipment is doing its job and again has a third-party organization certified the products you offer me and you could also ask who and you could go to that third party and verify that those products are in fact certified wfos offers also many other free resources for consumers our most popular one is the water treatment for dummies book we also have learned about your water section on our website and improve your water section on our website and you can just come to our website and search for those terms and they’ll pop right up or the these links are actually live here on the slide as well so when you get the PDF you can click on the link and it should take you right there and lastly if you have any questions related to drinking water quality or especially treatment you can call our front desk identify yourself as a consumer and the receptionist will help guide you towards resources we have which might help answer your questions

and that’s all I had / back to you Steve sure thank you um let me um I think something that’s going there we go show my screen okay sorry about that so that’s the can part if you will the presentation for today and we did receive a lot of questions from you all when you registered for this event and so we’re going to go through some of those today and yeah we’ll just get started and again if you have questions that have come up it looks like we’ve had a few already we’re tracking those and we’ll bring those up on the screen at the end if if you have something you want to ask today just use a question or a chat box so I’m going to get right to it for new well owners the first thing I’m assuming we have a number of new well owners especially on this webinar because it had a lot wider reach as far as the advertising for this and letting people know about it and so the first thing I want to do is talk about our private well class program and if you’re new to having well and you haven’t taken our class it’s a 10-week class um it’s free its online it’s self-paced so you sign up for it sends you a PDF once a week for 10 weeks you’re on your own to read it if you have questions you can email us again this is all funded through US EPA and our cap and so it’s all free and the only catch is you have to read it which amazingly we do get comments about why isn’t this online as a video instead of as a PDF so that I don’t have to read which yeah I’m old and I think that’s funny so this is our webpage private well class org you just click on take our free class and it takes you to a page where you can sign up it’ll send you a pretest and a lesson and then the same time every week it’ll send you the next lesson over ten weeks we do have other resources available along with this to help support the program one of those under the resource library is for each of the ten lessons this is lessons one and two are a series of additional documents that are all publicly available mostly from federal state agencies universities extension those sorts of folks that are out there doing outreach and education to well owners so if for some reason some of the material that we put together doesn’t resonate with you you can look at these other sources and get additional information and they’re really useful we only put in a few for each that we felt were worthwhile and so there’s a lot of additional resources available to you and we’ve kind of catalogued those we do webinars like the one we’re on today we did one in 2080 non-lead we record each one of those if you go under webinars and events there’s a drop-down that shows you a current upcoming webinars or past webinars click on past webinars and it takes you to a page where you can see these categories and you can get to this by date if you want to or search for lead and we brought like we did for today with Eric and Sarah we brought a professional on to give this presentation on lead just because we have a colleague who’s at Virginia Tech who knows a lot more about lead and private Wells and I do and so she did a lot of the presentation for this so it’s really useful it explains the differences between blood and other constituents and why it shows up in your drinking water we also created a series of these short training videos they’re 4 to 6 minutes long on different aspects of a water system even things like you know what to do after a fire or a flood what is an artesian aquifer what is a bedrock aquifer actually how does how does my pressure tank work it’s probably the most popular video we have it’s had close to 300,000 hits in four years and that’s partly because we think a lot of private well owners have water pressure issues and there’s just a lot of information available tool so again it’s meant to be a resource that you can look to to give you some good basic information on your system so that’s all I had for the private law class and I’m so I’m going to move into some of the questions and both Eric and Sarah answered some of these in advance I’ve pulled from that and tried to provide some of these one of the questions was I just wanted general I want general suggestions for water treatment system maintenance how do I find someone to work on them I think Eric actually answered that in

his presentation but this is what he had listed about how to search for those providers Eric you want to add anything nope I think that’s a good answer there Steve okay and so again we realize we’ve thrown a lot of URLs out today and we don’t have those you know all in a list available for everyone we you know with yeah so the the PDF of these will be available as well as the the recording and so you’ll be able to get to that information there or what I find for a lot of these like I’m gonna talk about radon a little bit is that it’s easier to Google this stuff to find it just for some of the terms that are here under water quality Association it should be pretty easy to find okay someone asked about can you give a comparison of aquifer versus tap water so that’s a really good question and we talked about it a lot on our webinars because there’s really significant differences sometimes in the water that comes out of your well before it goes into your house and what actually comes out of your kitchen tap and so the water in your at your kitchen tap may have sat in your plumbing or your pressure tank overnight or going through various kinds of treatment which we mentioned some today filters softeners even our oh they all change the water chemistry and even a narrator and so it really can be different and so for us where I work at the State water Survey a lot of times where we’re looking more at source water at the ground water at the aquifer and trying to determine we use water quality data in a different way like we know if the chloride is low it means it’s more surface water oriented or there’s shallow water available to that aquifer we also use different kinds of constituents to help date the water and things like that and understanding recharge so a lot of times what we do is we ask a well owner if they’ll collect both one from an outside spigot or hydrant that’s for us as a groundwater sample and when we do that ourselves like we go out and collect water samples from a private well we’ll we’ll run water for 20 minutes or so from a spigot and make sure we’ve we’re in the field we’re testing temperature pH and conductivity and once that stabilizes we know we’re getting well water an actual groundwater that not water that’s sitting in the pipes or even in the wellbore and so we’ve pumped a few volumes of well water out and we’re getting a groundwater sample and then we’ll also collect one at the kitchen tap for a homeowner so that they’re getting in a drinking water sample so they can understand exactly what they’re drinking and I’m going to show you an example this is our from one of our folks in our lab they have a private well and I’m just quickly going to show you that you know this is there outside spigot and they did this in 2015 the things to note here the sodium is 25.9 the turbidity in color are both a fairly high at twenty nine point eight and forty eight point one and down on the bottom right the hardness is 351 okay and so and the pH is 8.0 – after their filter and softener as you’d expect the hardness is down to point six eight from 351 but now the sodium is 198 because you’re using regular softener salt in their softener the turbidity and color have went down which you’d expect and you can see some of the constituents there’s probably more or less than signs which is our detection limit for some of these things at our lab here they also had an RO unit that what’s that right at the kitchen tap so you can see a lot more things now our below detection limit even the sodium’s down from one hundred ninety eight to six boron goes up pH goes down you’re taking some of the buffering out of the water and so there can be unintended contents unintended excuse me consequences from the treatment from things in your pipes all that sort of stuff so it’s just a beware and if you have the wherewithal and you want to really understand your water system it’s probably better to collect more than one sample but now every one I realize can’t do that and the bottom line is you’re trying to protect your public health and so you know the most important place to sample for that is where you’re getting your drinking water from okay so the Eric you answered this I think any recommendations on best filtration systems generically for the various metallic organic or bacterial contaminants one might find in a water supply Oh yours yep you know in addition to what I have here you know obviously

we we strongly recommend certified product so what you would do is take a test report and look at what the contaminants are in there that you’re concerned about and then match those up with certified products and if you’re having trouble with that and you can call our front desk and we can help you search for those products and you know look at your test report see what’s what’s in your water you can also of course just contact the professional and have them do it and they will match up those products and with your test results for you great yeah and the second thing there have your water tested that’s you know you really don’t know we run across well owners all the time they have you know several thousand dollars of treatment under their sink or in their basement and they just decide to go ahead and do that to be safe and they’ve never even tested their water and that’s really it’s a waste of money it could be unless you know or if you don’t have the right treatment you may not even removing something you need to yep so home test kits and I know Sarah touched on this and so I won’t go too much into another then you know we’ve we’ve seen that’s really a tricky thing mainly be cuz there’s so many out there it’s really hard to understand which ones are better or worse or actually work and so and it turns out our lab manager is a fish guy he has salt and freshwater fish tanks and so he’s learned from that testing pH and some other things that you know for the bottom bullet here we generally don’t recommend but for some basic things like you know some of the ph filters you can get in a pool supply place he thinks those are fine but in general it’s really some of the stuff eric was bringing up it’s about looking for misleading wording you know there are hundreds of pesticides and many of them are different classes of chemicals and so if somebody has a device or a kit that says a test for pesticides they probably don’t know what they’re talking about because there are many tests needed to actually test for all pesticides so it’s really about buyer beware and you know having good recommendations and again you know as Sarah mentioned our best advice is to use a certified lab because they have to go through the testing to make sure that they can meet those standards and they’re doing things by treatment methodologies that are approved by EPA we even run across sometimes we’ve run across private labs where they do compliance sampling for community where they’re using the EPA method but for private well they may be using a different method that’s not as accurate because it’s not a compliance sample and it’s cheaper for them to do and and they may even charge less but you know you want to use you want to make sure that you’re getting a result that’s you’re confident in say or do you want to add anything to that no I think you’ve covered it well Steve can you provide information on treating hard water that is acidic and Eric this was this is your answer yeah so first of all make sure that you’re testing your water to make sure there’s nothing else in it hardness and that’s acidic water or corrosive water easily to recognize visually you know there’s visual aspects that make those things obvious but there’s a lot of contaminants that are colorless odorless tasteless and you won’t know they’re there unless you test for them so that would be the first part again test the water make sure that that’s your only problem hardness is relatively easy to remove with cation exchange softener that’s certified to NSF ANSI standard 44 so again any of those certification bodies can certify to that standard the acidic water though could be a corrosion concern you know especially if you have copper plumbing or anything in the copper or anything in your plumbing that as LED in it could be solder could be fixtures faucets that have led in them so you might want to use a neutralizing filter to adjust the pH that could also though increase the hardness Amis soda ash or sodium hydroxide injection the other thing to that I would just mention here in relation to hard water that is acidic if you do have iron the one benefit of this is that the actual softener will also take care of the iron without fouling if it’s if the water is has low pH yeah we found and and that’s a really just an added benefit for a softener right I mean it’s yeah I mean if you have a high

pH the problem is if you have iron that’s over three parts per million then you can start fouling the softener so then you might have to do some other type of pretreatment for iron if you have high iron but if it’s low pH the you know it’s just kind of an added Besant you can actually get rid of the iron with the softener we actually saw in from our lab that some and it might be the pH related issue because arsenic CO precipitates with iron we saw that in some cases some of the well owners that used our Public Service lab we’re seeing a reduction in arsenic and all they had for treatment was a software yeah I’ve heard of that as well I haven’t I don’t have any data on that but I have actually have heard anecdotal evidence that that is the case yeah we looked at it back right when the arsenic role was changed in 2006 and it’s a real thing so we yeah the last thing here maintenance is key for any an oil treatment one of the stories when we first started our class you know seven years ago or so Minnesota Department Health one of their regional private well folks suggested we don’t even talk about treatment as part of our class because he sees so many well owners that don’t maintain their equipment and eventually then becomes a source of contamination a lot of times without bacteria that sort of thing and so guess the message is you can’t get into adding treatment unless you’re ready to take on whatever the maintenance is and understand that responsibility yeah yeah if you’re not willing to maintain the the products yourself and it’s best to just hire professional and have them take care of the maintenance I mean that that certainly there are many professionals out there and will do that for you so yeah so why so this is an interesting question we’ve never been asked this before and although you know we’ve done thirty some webinars probably why do we sample for nitrates in the wall raw oil water source when the water we be drinking is going to be in a distribution water that comes out of our sink and then the the I didn’t put all the question down but basically and then why do we test at the kitchen sink for lead and you know why are those different so it’s because lead is an in the groundwater or the well it could be in the components well like a drop pipe that’s galvanized or things like that but it’s the source isn’t the groundwater it’s not seeping in from the surface it’s not naturally occurring in the groundwater let is in your your premise plumbing you know your internal plumbing of your house typically and it’s corrosive water that causes the lead to leach out especially when it sits overnight and so when you’re testing for a let it your kitchen sink you’re really testing to see if your if lead is leeching out of the components of your water system in your home and causing that to come out at your kitchen sink where as nitrate arsenic uranium you name it almost everything else is coming from either a source near your well a breach and your well or it’s naturally occurring in groundwater or it’s a spill you know if you have volatile organics or things like that and you live next to an old gas station for instance it could be there was a leaking tank and it’s causing some of those things so that’s why you test differently and you sample differently because and that’s like even with bacteria you know when they do compliance sampling for a community water supply they make sure they follow the some of the sampling suggestions that Sarah had pointed out there’s actually classes on how to take a sample so that you’re not getting bacteria from that might be in the end of your faucet because then you’re not really testing the water to see if the well or your distribution system in that case of a city water supply has bacteria in it it’s not supposed to you’re actually just testing you’re getting a hit because it’s at the end of your faucet and as a private well owner you don’t care you have bacteria bacteria but when you’re trying to determine if your system is free of bacteria that matters as another example many of our spigots and hydrants have either a weep hole so water can drain out and they won’t freeze or have backflow devices that in some cases can hold and those into being a source of bacterial contamination and no matter what you do whenever you collect a sample from there you’re going to have bacteria hits whether there’s actually

bacteria and the water itself in the water system or not your hydrant is the source so it’s important to understand those things and it’s also you know necessary to understand why we test lead is such a different animal from the other things we test for it Steve this is Sarah oh sorry let me go back I forgot to ask you guys could you take the nitrate sample from the sink and it would still provide the same result right first I mean it doesn’t matter if it’s coming from the roll well serviced or from the sink for nitrates it should not unless you’ve added treatment to remove it okay yep yep okay so several questions about emerging contaminants really because of pee fast compounds and it’s really it’s a you know the lead was the emerging contaminant to the public a number of years ago after flat happened even though it’s been an issue for a long time but pee fasts is compounds are totally a new thing and its really taken especially on the community water supply side you know EPA sets drinking water standards like the arsenic standard is 10 ppb or parts per billion or micrograms per liter well that process to develop that rule takes five to six years so now with all the pee fast compounds that all of a sudden have shown up they don’t expect the EPA if they even create a rule to happen until at least 2024 and so there’s a lot of frustration with that in the public but it’s just the reality of the way the rules are set up and so what you can do as a well owner is really be informed understand what the sources are you know firefighting foam and and some of the other things do you live near source or if you’re near an airport for instance they do a lot of fire training there we see those as being a those issues not everyone is going to have PFS or whatever the other emerging contaminants are it depends on the situation you’re in the geology you have you need to work and talk to someone maybe even your State Geological Survey will have some insight based on the geology where your well is that about what kind of risks you might have and so you know testing is available now and I know I didn’t include it here but Sara had come in and in the notes she provided me that you know there are certified labs for doing pee fast testing but for that or anything else make sure you understand what your risk is and if it’s likely to be there you know before you to do that and if someone comes around and says you have pee fast we reached out to a online place where you can send in you give them some information and they tell you what you might need to test for and we were just trying to check out the validity of this this vendor if you will and they came back and said that there’s likely PFS contamination and we used a one of our colleagues addresses who lives out in the country near in a rural area near Champaign Urbana no chance do they likely have pas that for any I mean there’s no logical reason why they would per se and so be aware I wrote snake oil salesman here but again just be sure before you spend the money on some of those things because like pee fast testing is really expensive and because it’s new and you know they’re still learning the EPA is still trying to develop the methods for testing and treatment there are states who are passing laws that require our communities now to meet a certain standard in all likelihood once everything is known about DFAS some of those rules are going to have to change one way or the other there’s just a lot we don’t know yet so Eric is there anything you want to add sir if you have been informed if you have been informed that you’re well contains beef as I mean a lot of times the states and the I know it’s made of Michigan is that a goal to test every water source in the state for example so they are doing a lot of tracking so if you have been informed that your well does contain pee fast there are solutions for it there are certified products actually the for removing pee fast and most of the other emerging contaminants as well was kind of one advantage you have as a private well owner as soon as these emerging contaminants hit the market somebody’s going to be developing a in home treatment solution for them so you can contact us and we can help you find those certified products but basically the way it works is you go to the website for the certification bodies and there will be a search function there where you can search for specific contaminants like beef s and then it will bring up all the products that are certified to remove that contaminant but

again if you have trouble you can contact us and we can help you walk I’ll walk you through that process all right necessary would you have any perspective from New Hampshire honest I think I think sorry I think Eric and you guys have covered most of it you know New Hampshire did recently set its own PFS standards in drinking water which were enforceable for public water systems although that’s being held up now in in litigation several entities have sued the state so it’s still as still as Eric said it’s it’s it’s still an evolving process I know our environmental services department did a statewide groundwater surveillance of over like five hundred samples randomly selected throughout the state and I think I think Eric’s summary is that we’re finding that in like remote rural areas that the likelihood of having pee fast contamination is very small whereas sort of in the urban industrial areas the likelihood might be a little higher so that that may be you know if you have a well like Eric said if you have a well near an airport a fire station industrial manufacturing facility you it might be something a well owner might want to spend a few dollars to to test for P pass but again that the you know the the limits and the standards and what levels are unhelpful you know depending on who you talk to you might get a different answer so it just have to educate yourself talk to the right people and I I think that’s nothing I can add the other thing too the one thing that’s happening in the rural areas the one thing that’s new that’s coming up Steve is that they are finding that if you live near an area where they are disposing of bio solids from a wastewater treatment plant so the P fast just tends to go straight through the wastewater treatment plant it ends up in the bio solids then the treatment plant will actually sell that bio solid from their their lagoons as fertilizer and so that can cause plumes in rural areas and they are finding that in some states so that might be if you know you’re in one of those areas that might be another trigger that would maybe want to maybe you’d want to seek testing in that case yeah and that’s a fairly common thing do for a community they work with farmers to have a place to apply those because they’re a good nutrient and EPA just put out a funding a research proposal program to study that very thing and so they know there’s there’s certainly an issue there Thanks so what about our bacterial Eric what do you do about iron bacteria so iron can be very difficult to iron bacteria can be very difficult to eradicate typical treatment involves chemical treatment and filtration a disinfectant such as chlorine or ozone can be used while filter however it you know quite extensive disinfection is typically required because the bacteria form a thick layer of slime and it can make it hard for the disinfection disinfectants to penetrate so it can be a pervasive issue in your well yeah we typically talk about it in terms of shot chlorination where if it’s been identified you know some people will try to shot chlorinate there well as if they have a back you know a coliform or e coli problem and the same thing same advice holds true we’ve had folks here in Illinois where they’ve had to they’ve shot chlorinated their well five or six times and finally got rid of the iron bacteria and that’s because again you’re taking off a layer at a time because of the slime that can build up so it is it’s a tough tough thing to get rid of and it just smells terrible so I don’t believe it’s harmful though that’s the the good news there anybody else okay so I’m talking about radon you know it’s typically everyone has to test for right now when they buy a house or the seller or the buyer do and there’s all these

issues about inhaling radon but it actually is a problem not a huge problem but it is can be a problem in drinking water and so there’s a webpage that EPA has it’s actually on their archive page I’ll show that next but they estimated about a hundred and sixty K cut into sixty eight cases a year for radon from drinking water yeah so if it is something to be concerned about it’s actually tough to test for and there’s more information on their page I know some of our staff have done that testing and you have to use special bottles and you have to invert things and you probably want to have somebody come and do that for you because it is fairly difficult but if you go to the the EPA’s information about radon and drinking water page this is an archived page but there’s a lot of information here available about that particular issue okay I’m gonna move on these can I just comment on radon sure for a minute yep so I just want to let you know so a message message that we have here in New Hampshire the because radon is a common naturally occurring contaminant although there’s no EPA standard drink to our standard we have our messages sort of advisory and it goes like this if your radon in the water is less than 2,000 picoCuries per liter essentially we don’t recommend you do anything if the radon in water is between 2,000 and 10,000 then we suggest that you test the radon an air and use those two values to determine whether or not you need to treat the water because as you know the radon in the water gets liberated as you use it shower run the water in your sink so it’s it’s contributing some level of radon in the air that you’re inhaling if the radon in your water is greater than 10,000 our message is that you treat the water because it’s contributing a significant amount of radon into your air thank you so does a shallow well 200 feet deep need to be tested more frequently than a deep well and so you know it’s all relative is the message I want to get across here so in some places 200 feet is a really deep well based on what their geology is and so you need to understand the area you’re in and talk to someone who understands the geology really what it comes down to is you know a 200 foot deep well for instance if it’s a sand and gravel well it has a screen at the bottom so water is coming in to that well the bottom five feet that means it has to go from the surface it has to go down to 195 feet of material in order to get into the to the well through the screen versus a bedrock well that’s 200 foot deep it may only have 40 feet of casing and below that it’s an open hole because when you drill a bedrock well you you leave you don’t use a the hole in the rock as your casing so to speak so you can take advantage of the fractures in the rock to supply water to the well because you don’t you know water doesn’t come from the rock it comes into fractures in the rock so depending where those fractures go and how much casing you have it could be very vulnerable at 200 feet because of my own beat you know we’ve ran across cases where there’s only 10 or 15 feet of casing and then it’s all bedrock open hole and so you need to understand whether it’s a vulnerable aquifer karst geology for instance or sand at the surface where there can be a lot of infiltration if there Wells properly constructed and sealed and grouted and does it make code and so there’s a lot to that question but typically unless there is some specific issue you know testing once a year is probably fine and that’s what we recommend and that’s what almost everyone in the country recommends from a public health standpoint is that you know that kind of testing just lets you know that your well is properly sealed and doesn’t have those things any I did run across the geologist in Florida who told me I was giving bad advice because they’re in an area where because of seasonal fluctuations in the water table and how shallow the wells are they need to test for bacteria probably three or four times a year and and that’s what they recommend in this one particular

area and so you need to understand your situation is the bottom line because there is no really deep or shallow I mean there’s certainly shallow but a shallow well like I grew up on a wall that was 14 feet deep I mentioned that at the beginning that’s a shallow well I mean it took water from directly from the water table so yeah you just understand the information about your well better set a better settlement filter so using the string wound sediment pre-filter is there a better filter that would be a pre-filter or do anything to help the top five things mentioned for testing and I know Eric this is the answer you provided you want to take this and yeah yep yeah and unfortunately you know the thing that sediment filters have in common is that they’re only resigned to remove sediment so they’re you can’t rely on them to remove other stuff such as bacteria and I trade arsenic whatever else you have in your your well that’s the unfortunate answer and I would say the only caveat there is some people use pretreatment ahead of their filter I like to Airy to to take their dissolved iron and put it in a solid form and then pull it out with a filter but then yeah wire would be some kind of additional treatment and advance of your sediment filter to remove things that can be oxidized or put it in a solid form so they’ll be caught by one of these this particular filter in the picture is it’s iron and manganese that cause that black color so they can do those things if and get a lot of that out if they’re oxidized first yep good point yep okay so I’m adults are alone well but yeah if you add some additional steps in the treatment train then you might be able to take better advantage of that sediment filter yeah yeah yeah it’s just like I know this particular person has to change their filter every like two months because it gets pretty clogged up pretty quick so the question is there any funding available for people who find they need treatment I’m gonna refer you to last March we did a webinar just on funding and financing and if so if you go to our website and look for past webinars you can find that you know the bottom line is there really aren’t a lot of options except for some low-income folks and the USDA has a program we have several they have one that’s a direct request to USDA and they have a private well program where other entities and I know several the are cap regions do this they become a loan officer for USDA and could provide low-interest like one percent loans to either repair well add treatment and now the because of the changes in the farm bill you’ll also be able to repair or replace septic but we go through a lot of different options in here in this video because there are a lot of other things that you know there’s may be local options for funding like some of the some water conservation districts will help not necessarily with adding treatment but they’ll cost share or split the costs for a ban in a while and things like that so there’s a lot of good information there on what options we know of related to private wells and so I’m gonna switch the screen here and go to the questions we have and I think Lou you’re gonna have a little more activity based on the questions we’ve got so I hang on just a second here let me pull this up make it fullscreen and we’ll just go yeah I’ll read the questions and then we can go from there so if you didn’t see the water sample collected it may be difficult to be part of the chain of custody certainly if a citizen brings in a sample it could have been collected from anywhere and this seems more like a comment and a question but um that’s certainly the case and lutely having comments on that particular issue yeah sure I agree it’s it’s a statement so for what I’m familiar with I mean again private wells aren’t regulated these are not compliant samples we don’t go out and do collecting ourselves so I’m assuming when a well owner asks for containers to have their well tested we’re assuming that they are collecting it from the location that they write on the piece of paper there’s no way for us to verify that and you know I don’t know what would happen if if we had you know that that’s not

part of what we’re responsible for verifying as a certified lab yeah you know I don’t know what we would do if it came into question if somebody was trying to demonstrate that their well was contaminated certainly it’s something we don’t have control over so we just take it based on what they write on the paper well I know in Pennsylvania when all the fracking issues were going on there their advice was that a well owner shouldn’t collect a sample they should have the lab come out and collect the sample in order for it to be defensible and I know New Jersey has a law that requires testing for every property sale where our wells involved and their lab goes out and collects a sample in those cases so that they’re sure what you know they can follow a chain of custody and know that the sample they’re collecting is what it’s supposed to be and so that would be my advice if you’re really concerned about oh you know maybe collect your own sample and find out what’s going on but then if you have a real issue and there could be a legal issue there or something that needed to be defended then you find a way to do that you know probably has a lab do yeah I know I know that some I know that some of the the private labs here in our state offer that service as part of the water testing process so or and I know that the treatment the treatment professionals will also provide that water collection service as well sure all right so I’m guessing custody doesn’t refer to knowledge of the water source well chain of custody means that someone has tracked that sample from when it was lying the bottles from when they were first provided to get to the lab and there’s a result correct I believe that is correct so for you know that that whole tracking from sample collection to sample transport to sample receipt is the documentation of you know where the sample was collected and how it was transported under what conditions whose hands it came in contact if you were to collect it and give it to somebody who then transported it to the lab and then was received and and it can go even one step further because you can have internal chain of custody so we don’t normally do this but in some cases where you know we know that this could go to court you know within the laboratory we even track which analysts touched the sample what refrigerator was stored in so technically it is the documentation of every step of the way where that sample was how was collected who collected it and who touched it but again for most from my opinion most private well testing I don’t think you need to go to that level know but I think what I get I think the question here is does that mean somebody does know the the water source and I guess what you could say definitively is that if you have a actual chain of custody form filled out for that sample from when it’s collected through the analysis then someone is signed on the form verifying that this information is correct and so if they included the water source the person who collected the sample or took the bottles from the lab is saying that you know this is true to the best of their knowledge so to speak so you know in theory a chain of custody is defendable in court and gives you some assurance that you know something hasn’t happened with the sample without anybody’s knowledge okay how critical is ice and sampling our state doesn’t that require samples to be submitted with ice you want me to do that one too yeah I mean I have an or okay so yeah so you know certain if we’re following EPA or standard methods verified methods some of those indicate that samples need to be thermally preserved so bacteria is an instant example you know the method says the sample must be at less than ten degrees on ice during that transport to the laboratory so you know if it’s not on ice or within that temperature range

that’s specified by the method you know you know some labs might invalidate that or qualify the that fact or documented on the report that the sample was not collected or transported according to the reference method the only thermal preservation is just used to deter any degradation of the analytes of concern well and that would be an issue for a compliant sample of our community because they have to mean that correct yeah correct so and it depends on them and we end that we understand how difficult it is to get a well a well owner to transport samples to the laboratory so our practice is to you know just document the the state of within which we received a sample yeah okay some systems may require post filtration as well well I’m not sure who that’s for so yeah I could take now when I mean there it depends on there’s a lot of different cases where you would want to have a filtration step at the end you know for example in that case we were talking about if you are oxidizing iron or manganese you’re not really removing the iron or manganese you’re just oxidizing it until you have that filtration step next to actually capture it a lot of systems will come with a built-in multiple stages built-in in that final stage if you want to call it post filtration that final stage is usually a polishing step which takes out all the final contaminants and makes the water taste best so there are definitely cases where you would want to do post filtration if you want to call it that okay well in what is ro ro is reverse osmosis but I don’t know if you want an explanation Eric’s probably the best guy to do that or it’s just a it’s a system that’s based on a semipermeable membrane so the idea is the water goes through the membrane and most of the contaminants are diverted through a to down a waste line that goes down the drain okay regarding current discussion many treatment experts focus on the products that their companies carry not on the best match combo of technologies for the situation that’s one reason you see elaborate systems in people’s homes not necessarily because they did no testing ah well that’s a good point and yeah and I don’t you know Eric what would you do in that case because you know if if it’s a treatment provider who has proprietary treatment products obviously that’s what they’re going to sell I guess I am a little bit confused by the comment most of the the ones I’m familiar with at least they carry all the technologies so you know you take for example well I don’t want to call any but Colony companies out but I mean if you just take the the major manufacturers who have dealer networks they carry all of the technologies so they should be able to bat match the the best combo of technologies versus your test water I think I think you were more often I see these elaborate systems in cases where people didn’t test and they just did everything they thought they could do yeah I’ve seen that a couple times yeah tonight can I just make a quick comment please so I think I’ll point out to folks the be well informed tool and I know I know I think a lot of states are developing their own or are using New Hampshire’s tool but at the end of that tool there’s a treatment section that describes the treatment train associated with all the contaminants that are found in the well water and it doesn’t doesn’t just define a product it defines a technology or technology option that will remove all the contaminants so what we find here is that a lot of treatment companies tend to just say if you have iron they’ll say oh you just need a softener and they just like to put softeners in and whereas I think if if you look at the contaminants the folks should be able to get at least the technologies to remove the individual contaminants or the total contaminants yeah and and that is a we had we had New Hampshire come and talk about their tool at our conference in

2017 and after that at least six states asked for the code to develop their own versions so you know it is a great tool and it’s it’s vetted because it’s developed by a state agency so it has none of that bias and which is one of the reasons why it is a really great tool to use and the fact that it there’s two things that it does that the NE predecessors pressive any predecessors didn’t do one is it allows you to pick your units for each value you enter instead of having to convert to milligrams per liter like most of the other ones used to and the second is that it recommends treatment based on what the results say and so there’s certainly it’s certainly a valuable thing for anyone to use as a screen we still tell people to take their results to a health professional regardless so so what’s considered pH it’s a very subjective question Ben’s on the application I guess anybody there I remember for recreational water we usually look for normal ranges between 6 to be between six point five and eight point five but I don’t know drinking water yeah I mean if they’re just asking maybe what is corrosive then it would be less than seven well it’s potentially corrosive I mean you can have a potentially corrosive but what is considered low yeah so you can also have water below six that isn’t necessarily very corrosive and it depends on some of the other what else is in the water yeah you know we see you know I had mentioned I had somebody from Virginia Tech come and talk about lead the Piedmont offer out there the natural pH is around five and a half and so that water is corrosive and low pH and for a long time they allowed or maybe they still even do galvanized drop pipe and some of those wells are five or six hundred feet so you have water that’s corrosive that’s a contact galvanized piping which you know the galvanization includes lead all the time and so one of the studies that she had done they so led even an hour after running water for an hour and so you know we can try to find more information to answer this question better if you want to email me and if you have a more specific you know what’s yes yes that’s a pretty general question and it depends on the application and yeah because there’s other things that go into what make things corrosive but typically people look at pH it’s just not always a hard and fast rule so I’m gonna move on how to maintain some common treatment units I know the answer to this I’ll let Eric answer sure so for example carbon filters are going to have to replace over time ro systems you’ll have to they usually have a filter that comes with them as well so you’ll have the filter cartridge itself to replace plus potentially the RO cartridge to replace softeners require salt to maintain UV systems you’ll have to periodically change the light bulb so that’s kind of some common examples yeah and I would say what we tell people is every treatment unit comes with a manufacturer’s guide you know all of the best practices for maintaining that and most of those are online and available on wqas website so you should read the information that comes with your treatment unit and it’ll tell you how to maintain that or what you know what the common things to do are Oh what did I do okay so please note that pee fast contamination has recently been linked agricultural residential applications of pee fast contaminated natural fertilizers waste weight and waste water treatment sludge certainly as I mentioned EPA just prior rfp for studying wastewater treatment sludge and bio solids application and how it affects agriculture and so hopefully we address that and this question came before that but it’s only where a community is selling its bio solids to a farm operation and that’s using those so

for instance of a colleague that works for a wastewater system and they have a site they own 500 acres or they’ve applied bio solids for many years and it’s probably going to be a great test case for determining pee fast contamination in that area but it’s just those 500 acres in the area around it you know in Illinois you know some of our counties have hundreds of thousands of acres by county of farm ground so it’s still in the big scheme of things a specific area in most cases and it’s only for those that apply their biosolids in an agricultural application anybody else and if if that’s wrong email me I would be glad to discuss it further or find out more information and I don’t think it is okay when we find radon levels greater than the mass DEP action level of 100 or 10,000 pika carries we encourage testing air in a basement and an upper level home determine if radon and water could be contributing radon air levels okay good comment and that’s what we have for today we did run along I appreciate everyone who stayed and this will this was recorded and it will be available in line I know I mentioned that several times we will send out this handout to everyone when we send out the email saying that the recording is available in online so thanks to Jennifer Lou Sara and Eric for earlier your help today and it was really interesting I certainly learned a lot and thanks for all your time all right take care

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