State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007PA72B
Title: Web-Based Learning for Private Water System Owners
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: 5th
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Education, Water Quality
Keywords: groundwater, wells, education, drinking water, volunteers
Principal Investigators: Swistock, Bryan Reed; Clemens, Stephanie S.; Sharpe, William E.
Federal Funds: $ 19,958
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 39,918
Abstract: There are over three million rural residents of Pennsylvania that rely on a private well, spring or cistern for their water supply. An additional 20,000 private wells are drilled each year in the state. However, the location, construction and maintenance of these water supplies are not regulated in Pennsylvania. As a result, many private water systems fail at least one drinking water standard. Uninformed homeowners are often unaware of water quality problems or fall victim to scare tactics by disreputable water treatment vendors. In an attempt to better educate the large audience of private water system owners, this project will create various written and video resources that will be available as a stand alone resource or as a web-based course. The course will include many existing written fact sheets (PDF format). Funds from this project will be used to augment these resources with additional written materials and several short videos illustrating proper water system maintenance. Homeowners will be able to access the resources for the course for no charge at the Water Resources Extension web site at The web course will be advertised using radio public service announcements, and through Cooperative Extension using web cards and volunteers. For a small fee, homeowners can sign up to take the on-line course with assistance from Extension instructors (the principal investigators) during pre-determined 12-week periods. The formal course will include worksheets and evaluations that participants can use to document knowledge gained. DVD copies of the videos will be created as stand-alone resources that can be utilized by volunteers and extension educators in assisting private water system owners.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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