Water Well/Spring Owners Get Pointers From Experts

From Potter County Today

gastaskforceclarkWith almost seven in 10 Potter County households pulling their water from wells or springs, there was strong interest in last week’s Water Quality Workshop, presented by two Penn State authorities at the Gunzburger Building in Coudersport. The session, jointly sponsored by Cooperative Extension and the Potter County Board of Commissioners, featured presentations by water specialists Bryan Swistock and Jim Clark (shown).  Emphasis was on interpreting the results of water testing, laws covering natural gas drilling and water testing, and steps water supply owners should consider taking if gas drilling is taking place nearby.

The speakers pointed out that research conducted over the past few years has confirmed that a large proportion of private wells and springs already contain contaminants, particularly bacteria, and steps can be taken to improve water quality, including the use of ultraviolet light and sanitary well caps.

They said that gas drilling companies are required to test private water supplies within 1,000 feet of a well site, unless the owner refuses to allow testing, and many of them are willing to pay for independent tests outside of the 1,000-foot zone if the property owner requests it.

“Please, for your own sake, do not deny them that access,” Swistock advised. “They are required by law to have those tests conducted by an independent lab and, if you do not allow it, then you would lose the very important protection known as ‘presumed liability’.” Under that legal term, a drilling company is presumed responsible for any water quality problems taking place in close proximity to a well.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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