Friday, March 22, 2019

BLOG: World Water Day 2019

With 1 in 9 people lacking access to safe water, World Water Day 2019 emphasizes the importance of delivering clean, safe water across the globe. What are some of the critical reasons for the lack of access to fresh water globally? What's the importance of a safe water supply? Check out the infographic below from Waterlogic.



__________

Waterlogic provides office a variety of point-of-use water purification and dispensers for businesses.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of The Groundwater Foundation, its board of directors, or individual members.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {World Water Day 2019}



World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22nd.  Water is essential to life and our society.  It quenches our thirst, grows our food, and even provides social and economic opportunities.

According to the United Nations, there are over 662 million people in the world today who live with little to no access to clean, safe water. By 2050, it’s predicted that 1 in 5 developing nations will face water shortage.  That’s why it’s so important to take this day to learn about water in the world. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Water for All”.


Whoever you are, water is a human right. Over 2 billion people in the world live without clean water in their homes. One in four primary or elementary schools worldwide don't have a drinking water system or service and students must use unprotected sources or face going thirsty.

Frannie talked with her family and friends about why access to safe, clean drinking water is important. Overwhelmingly, it's rural and agricultural communities that have to travel great distances to get water or pay to have pipes installed to get clean water from miles away. Many people with disabilities also face difficulty in accessing clean water.  Frannie took her Girl Scout friends on a trip down a nearby stream recently and they discovered easily water can become contaminated and unsafe to drink. Frannie's community has a very good water treatment system to clean up drinking water, but other areas aren't as lucky!

You can check out The Groundwater Foundation's website or Frannie's previous posts for fun ideas of ways you can protect and conserve groundwater for all.

World Water Day emphasizes the importance of water to every one of us.  Water is one shared resource.  We must all do our part to ensure the world's freshwater is taken care, used wisely, and is available to all of us!  Share how you will help protect water resources and be sure to tell your family and friends about protecting and conserving water every day!

Monday, March 11, 2019

BLOG: 10 Cool Things About Groundwater

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Groundwater is a unique resource, in that we can't see it. In honor of this week's National Groundwater Awareness Week, here are 10 cool things about groundwater.

  • Groundwater is the water that fills the cracks and crevices  in beds of rocks and sand beneath the earth's surface. Groundwater is recharged when water soaks into the soil from rain or other precipitation and moves downward. Groundwater is generally considered a renewable resource, although renewal rates vary greatly from place to place according to environmental conditions.
  • The aquifer in the U.S. is the Ogallala, underlying 250,000 square miles under eight states (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico). Scientists guess that it could take 6000 years to naturally refill the aquifer if it were ever fully depleted.
  • There's a lot more groundwater on Earth than surface water, to the tune of 20 to 30 times more than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers - combined!
  • There's a lot of water on Earth, but only 1 percent of it is useable; 99 percent of that is groundwater!
  • Groundwater provides much of the flow of many streams. The USGS estimates that about 30 percent of U.S. streamflow is from groundwater (although it is higher in some locations and less in others).
  • The United States uses nearly 80 billion gallons per day of fresh groundwater for public supply, private supply, irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and other purposes.
  • The temperature of shallow groundwater in the U.S. ranges from 44°F in north central areas to approximately 80°F in Florida and southern Texas.
  • Groundwater is an important part of the hydrologic cycle. When precipitation hits the ground, it can take many paths. It can be absorbed by plants; stored on the surface in a lake, river, stream, or ocean; evaporated due to the sun's energy; absorbed into the soil temporarily; or pulled by gravity through the soil to be stored for years as groundwater.
  • India has the most water wells in the world, with 21 to 25 million wells. The U.S. is second with 15.9 million wells and China has 3.4 million.
  • Irrigation accounts for the largest use of groundwater in the U.S. Over 53 billion gallons of groundwater are used daily for agricultural irrigation from 407,923 wells to help feed the world.


Groundwater is truly amazing, and needs our protection. Get started today!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Groundwater on Mars}

Groundwater is everywhere! Last month, scientists used a trio of instruments -  the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard the ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), and the Context Camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – to explore several craters in Mars’ northern hemisphere.


Scientists had long predicted that early Mars was covered in water. As the climate changed, the water was suspected to have seeped underground to become groundwater.

The pictures that were taken of the craters showed features suggesting that there used to pools of water that flowed and receded over time, marking the first geological evidence of a planet-wide groundwater system.

Scientists were even able to estimate water levels from the past and showed that they matched up with the predicted shorelines of an ocean that many believe used to exist on Mars around 3.5 billion years ago.  The ocean and system of underground lakes were previously only predicted through advanced computer models.

Since water is an important indicator of life, this finding could help researchers find locations on Mars that most likely would contain evidence extraterrestrial life.

Frannie is very excited to follow this story as it develops and hopes you’ll join her explore more water in space.

Monday, March 4, 2019

BLOG: Next Week is National Groundwater Awareness Week!

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Next week marks the 20th anniversary of National Groundwater Awareness Week (GWAW) - March 10-16, 2019.

Sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), GWAW is recognized annually to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater. The week is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance.

The 2019 theme of "Think" urges each of us to consider various ways we can protect our most valuable natural resource. So Think about not running the water while you brush your teeth. Or
Think about getting that leaking faucet fixed. Think about the farmers that rely on groundwater to grow the food we eat. And Think about having your well inspected to protect your drinking water
system. In short, during #GWAW, Think about our future.

I asked Groundwater Foundation Executive Director Jane Griffin to weigh on why GWAW is something to be celebrated. “Groundwater is important to so many parts of our daily lives - it’s the
water we drink, grows our food, and nourishes our communities. I hope everyone will truly Think
about the impact groundwater has on your life everyday, what it would look like without groundwater, and what you can do to protect it.”

Now and during GWAW, NGWA and the Groundwater Foundation encourage everyone to become
official “groundwater protectors” by taking steps to conserve and protect the resource. Businesses, individuals, educators, students, federal agencies, cities, associations, and everyone in between can ask to be added to NGWA’s groundwater protector list through its website or on social media.

Take it a step further and get something going in your community - organize a Groundwater Guardian
team to tackle local issues, help a local business or green space become a Green Site by documenting site maintenance practices related to water, do a fun activity with students to help them understand groundwater, or help do all these things by becoming a member of the Groundwater Foundation.

On NGWA’s GWAW website, you can find a toolkit with downloadable and shareable materials to spread the word, including:

  • Suggested social media posts (just copy and share!)
  • List of facts about groundwater
  • GWAW FAQ
  • Logos and graphics including email header, social media images, printable groundwater protector icon, and more 
  • Press release to share with local media or government officials

You can also find resources on the Groundwater Foundation’s website to help you:


Now’s the time to Think about groundwater and act to protect it now and for future generations!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

BLOG: Understanding Water Test Results

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

We've preached for years the importance of regular testing of private well water - at least once a year or more often if an issue is suspected. (side note: use this handy tool to help find a certified testing lab)

Understanding the results can be tricky, especially when you see terms like ppm, mg/L, ppb, µ/L that you may not recognize.

  • ppm = parts per million
  • mg/L = milligrams per liter (one ppm = 1 mg/L)
  • ppb = parts per billion
  • µ/L = microgram, which = 1/1,000 of a milligram
Water tests generally list the concentration of most minerals in parts per million. Pesticides and other chemicals aren't usually found at concentrations as high as parts per million, so they're listed in parts per billion or micrograms per liter. Compounds other than minerals or pesticides may be listed in other forms of measurement - water hardness is noted as grains per gallon, the corrosion index says if water is corrosive or not corrosive, bacteria may be listed as positive or negative.

While the labels may make sense now, do you really know what 1 ppm means? Here are some easier ways to think about them:

Think of 1 ppm as:
  • 1 inch in 16 miles
  • 1 minute in 2 years
  • 1 cent in $10,000
  • 1 bad apple in 2,000 barrels
One part per billion compares with:
  • 1 inch in 16,000 miles
  • 1 second in 32 years
  • 1 cent in $10,000,000
  • 1 bad apple in 2 million barrels
While these comparisons emphasize how small the amounts being measured are, keep in mind that cumulative exposure over the long-term to even small amounts of a contaminant may be of concern. 

For more information on testing your well water or interpreting your test results, visit wellowner.org/water-quality/water-testing.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

BLOG: Duane Eversoll to Receive Kremer Award

Duane Eversoll
Duane Eversoll, retired Associate Director of the University of Nebraska Conservation and Survey Division and Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Resources, has been selected to receive the 2018 Maurice Kremer Groundwater Achievement Award from the Groundwater Foundation. Eversoll will be presented with the award at the Maurice Kremer Memorial Lecture on February 27, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. in the Hardin Hall Auditorium (room 107) on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus (33rd and Holdrege Streets, Lincoln). Light refreshments will be served at 3:00 p.m.

The Kremer Award is presented annually by the Groundwater Foundation to an outstanding Nebraskan who has made a substantive contribution to the conservation and protection of Nebraska’s groundwater. The Groundwater Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska with a mission to educate people and inspire action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations.

“Duane has a long history of sharing groundwater information with anyone and everyone,” said Groundwater Foundation Executive Director Jane Griffin. “His career demonstrates his deep commitment to protecting the groundwater resources of Nebraska. On behalf of all of us at the Groundwater Foundation, it’s an honor to recognize Duane with the Kremer Award.”

The Kremer Award is chosen annually by a selection committee appointed by The Groundwater Foundation’s Board of Directors. It is named for Senator Maurice Kremer, who spent 20 years in the Nebraska Legislature where he was best known for his contributions toward protecting the state's water resources, earning him the nickname "Mr. Water.”

Eversoll is a native of Grand Island, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1958 with a degree in Geology. After working in the oil and gas industry for Continental Oil in Oklahoma, he returned to Nebraska and joined the Nebraska Department of Roads as a geologist. There he was instrumental in the design and development of water well and septic systems at rest stops in the state, while working with water well contractors on the professional design of a complete water well system.

Eversoll joined the University of Nebraska’s Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) in 1974. When the Nebraska Water Well Licensing Board was formed in 1984, Eversoll was appointed to the board to represent CSD. He became Associate Director in 1989.

He provides expertise to citizens and companies in locating private water wells and encouraging designs that not only meet legal requirements, but also protect groundwater. He also leads geological seminars and field trips to provide continuing education about geology and hydrogeology of Nebraska for water well professionals.

The Kremer selection committee unanimously selected Eversoll for the award. Committee member and past Kremer recipient Lee Orton said, “Duane’s career exemplifies his deep dedication to educating people and protecting groundwater. Even in retirement, Duane continues to demonstrate his interest in enhancing and improving the professionalism of the water well and onsite wastewater industries and their service to Nebraska.”

Find out more about the Kremer Award.

Past Kremer Recipients
2017: Jack Daniel
2016: Tom Carlson
2015: Susan Seacrest
2014: Robert Kuzelka
2013: Ron Bishop
2012: Dayle Williamson
2011: Lee Orton
2010: J. Michael Jess
2009: Vance Anderson
2008: Ann Bleed
2009: Jim Cook
2006: Senator Ed Schrock
2005: Roger Patterson
2004: Darrell Watts
2003: Chris Beutler
2002: Eugene Haarberg
2001: Jim Goeke
2000: Wayne Madsen
1999: Richard Harnsberger
1998: Les Sheffield
1997: Robert B. Daugherty
1996: Frank A. Smith
1995: Fred Salmon and Family
1994: Virginia Smith
1993: Robert B. Crosby
1992: Ted Filipi
1991: Ralph Marlette
1990: Warren Fairchild
1989: Val Kuska
1988: Eugene Reed
1987: Maurice Kremer
1986: Vincent Dreeszen

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Groundwater Games: Recycle Roundup}

As Groundwater Awareness Week gets closer, Frannie wants to share a fun game you can play that helps you learn about the importance of recycling!  Did you know that recycling helps protect groundwater?  Recycling creates new products from old items, this means less water is used making new products.

Here's what you'll need:

  • At least 3 people
  • 30 index cards
  • Marker
  • Three buckets
  • Stopwatch
  • Whistle
  • Large open area

Set-Up Instructions:

1.  Divide your index cards into three piles of 10.  Take the first pile and on one side of each card write the name of an item that can be put in a compost pile.  Mark the second stack with items that can be recycled and mark the third stack with items that can only be put in a landfill, below are some examples:

Recycle -
Aluminum can, notebook paper, paper egg carton, paper grocery bag, telephone book, glass jar, plastic soda bottle, steel soup can, newspaper, plastic milk jug.

Compost -

Apple core, banana peel, coffee grounds, leaves, grass clippings, dead flowers, potato peels, water, worms, pumpkin seeds.

Landfill -

Disposable diaper, used dental floss, used bandage, rubber band, fast food wrappers, cling wrap, wet paper, old sock, paper clip, buttons.



2.  Now label one bucket "Compost," the second "Recycle," and the third "Landfill."




3.  Find a large open area and set the three buckets on one end in a row.  Randomly scatter all the cards, face down, in the area in front of the buckets.




Activity Instructions:

1.  Divide your friends into three teams.
2.  Give one team the title of Compost, the second Recycle, and the third Landfill.  The team should elect one member of their team to stand behind their corresponding bucket.  This person will act as the final judge and can be the only person to drop the cards into the labeled bucket.
3.  At the sound of the whistle, you will have five minutes to go through the cards.  Each person may pick up one card at a time and read the back.  If they think the item corresponds to their team, they hand the card to the judge behind the bucket.  The judge decides if the item is correct and puts it in the bucket.  If the item is incorrect, the judge hands it back to the person who gave the card to them and they return the card to the table or floor, face down.



4.  At the end of the time period, the team that has the most correct items in their bucket is declared the winner.


Share pictures of you and your friends playing Recycle Roundup here.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

BLOG: Scholarships for the Next Generation of Groundwater Professionals

Fostering the next generation of groundwater industry professionals is an important part of the work we do at the Groundwater Foundation. Now there are two Groundwater Foundation scholarship programs are available to help students pursuing careers in the groundwater industry.

Len Assante Scholarship Program
The Len Assante Scholarship Program was developed to nurture and support those who wish to pursue and advance careers involving the protection, distribution, remediation, and responsible utilization of groundwater resources.

Scholarships are for full-time students only (including high school seniors who are applying for scholarships to be used in their first quarter or semester of post-secondary study). Scholarship amounts are dependent on available funds annually.

Len Assante Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in a program that is groundwater industry-related, including (but not limited to):

  • hydrogeology
  • water resource management
  • water well construction and supply
  • geology

The application period for the Len Assante Scholarship Program opens February 1, 2019 and all applications must be submitted by April 15, 2019.

Find the downloadable scholarship application form and information on the Groundwater Foundation’s website.


Farvolden Scholarships
Farvolden Scholarships are made in memory of Robert Farvolden of the University of Waterloo and former National Ground Water Association Director of Science and Technology. Farvolden Scholarships are made possible by support from S.S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc.

Farvolden Scholarships are for full-time students that submit an abstract for a poster/platform presentation at NGWA’s Groundwater Week Summit. All such students whose abstracts are accepted for presentation will be evaluated at the event by two or more judges. The four students with the highest scores will receive the Farvolden Scholarships. Four $500 Farvolden Scholarships are awarded annually.

Farvolden Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in a program that is groundwater industry-related, including (but not limited to): 
  • hydrogeology
  • water resource management
  • water well construction and supply
  • geology
To apply, submit a poster session proposal by April 21, 2019. 

If you have any questions about either the Len Assante Scholarship Program or Farvolden Scholarship Program, please contact the Groundwater Foundation at 402-434-2740 or email info@groundwater.org.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Girl Scout Groundwater Patches}

National Groundwater Awareness Week is coming up next month, March 11-16th. One way Girl Scout troops can celebrate is by earning the Girl Scout Groundwater Patches! There are patches and guide books for every grade level so you can keep learning more about groundwater, the water we drink and the water that grows our food.


To earn your “Ask Me About Groundwater” patch, all you need to do is complete two activities from different steps within the booklet. These steps can include anything from upcycled crafts to meeting with water professionals or even conducting your own experiments. Seem too easy? Show everyone that you’re a groundwater expert by completing more activities listed in the book and earn the “Let’s Keep It Clean” patch!

Girl Scout Troop 20605 from the Spirit of Nebraska Council earned their Brownie level groundwater patches while exploring the “WOW!: Wonders of Water” Journey. You can read more about their story or start your own water journey by finding your patch booklet on the Groundwater Foundation's website!

Don't forget to share your progress with Frannie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Good luck!


Friday, February 1, 2019

BLOG: Curbside Composting

by Catherine Chertudi, City of Boise, Idaho

Nearly 74,000 households now have the opportunity to divert compostable materials from the landfill to a Boise City owned composting facility!

The residential compost collection program was initiated nearly two years ago based upon recommendations from a citizen’s advisory committee to reduce wastes sent to the landfill. The idea took flight when the Ada County Landfill completed a year-long study of waste disposed in the landfill. The city discovered that nearly 46% of all residential wastes placed into the landfill were compostable materials.

Realizing that nearly half of our residential wastes could be diverted and used to make a valuable product created the momentum needed to begin discussions to develop a city-wide compost program.

Collecting compostable materials is easy – the issue was having a site to conduct the composting process. For many years, the city had hoped the private sector would develop a regional compost facility, however with the amount of dairy wastes in the area, a residential compost facility was not seen as a high investment priority. Ultimately, the city and our franchised hauler, Republic Services agreed to partner to design, build and operate a composting facility on city-owned property.

The ideal site was found on a portion of the city’s Twenty-Mile South Farm which is used to manage biosolids. The selected location is not ideal for farming – due to basalt outcrops and rocky ground. However, the site was perfect for composting. About 40 acres have been dedicated to the composting facility which includes a scale, office, receiving and windrow pads. The design incorporates extensive storm water and compost leachate management to protect groundwater. A monitoring plan was also required as part of the site permitting process with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Central District Health Department.

The design and permitting process for the new compost site was nearly 9 months long and required three major revisions to the compost siting application with the Idaho DEQ. Construction of the facility started in April 2017 and will be completed in August. On June 5, 2017 we began delivery of nearly 74,000 wheeled carts to collect the compostable materials and the full cart roll-out was completed July 15th. The first phase of the compost pad opened June 22, 2017 and by July 17 we have already collected and are composting about 1400 tons of yard wastes and kitchen scraps.

The site was designed for about 95 tons per day and we expected to begin with 45 tons per day – we have already seen the results exceed our projections with nearly 66 tons per day collected in the first five weeks of the new program. And, we have reduced trash routes to the landfill by two trucks per day.


The compost process takes about 100 days and the city intends to give back to our customers first – providing free compost and using compost on city properties. Our high-desert soils will benefit from incorporating compost which improves soil and plant health and, most importantly, acts as a sponge to retain water which reduces the need for frequent irrigation during our hot summer months.

Boise residents are supportive and excited about the new composting program – and their commitment to protecting and conserving our great quality of life is evident in their participation in the new program and the low levels of contamination in the compost carts. Reducing wastes and conserving resources is one of our core values in creating a lasting environment for today and for future generations of citizens in our city.

To learn more, visit www.curbitboise.org.

Friday, January 25, 2019

BLOG: Groundwater Fly-In


If you don't speak up for groundwater, who will?

Let your voice be heard and take advantage of the opportunity to talk with elected officials in Washington about groundwater issues at the 2019 NGWA Groundwater Fly-In and Water Resources Congressional Summit March 5-6, 2019.

Working together with the Irrigation Association and the Water Quality Association, the Fly-In will increase the water industry's profile on Capitol Hill regarding the availability, quality, and safety of our nation's water resources. It will help make members of Congress aware of the important role groundwater plays in providing drinking water, supporting agriculture, and fueling various sectors of the economy.

The current government shutdown shouldn't have an impact on the Fly-In, as Congress is still in session each week so meetings with congressional delegations will go on as scheduled. If the shutdown remains ongoing or begins again, the agenda for the policy briefing could be affected as officials from the administration are invited.

This year's groundwater focus topics include:

  • Obtaining federal support for the detection and remediation of PFAS contamination
  • Increasing efforts to promote groundwater recharge
  • Bolstering support for drinking water infrastructure improvement.
The Fly-In will open on March 5 with a keynote luncheon, followed by congressional and policy speakers, an NGWA policy briefing, and a reception. On March 6, the day will start with an informal breakfast, then meetings on Capitol Hill throughout the day (the schedule for meetings will vary based on congressional availability), closing with an optional happy hour with Fly-In participants.

Make sure your voice is heard - register today!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Level Up Your Sustainability in the Shower}

Last week, Frannie challenged you to take shorter showers: only 5 minutes, in fact.  But did you know that there are many other ways you can up your sustainability game just in your shower or bathtub? 

Here are a few unique ways you might not know about:

1. No one likes to step foot in a cold shower. While you wait for the water to get hot, put a bucket under the faucet or showerhead.  Instead of letting that water run down the drain, you can use it to water your garden or household plants!

2. Consider replacing an old showerhead with a WaterSense showerhead. The WaterSense label means that the showerhead uses 20% less water per minute than a standard showerhead but is just as comfortable and works just as well at washing you off. 

3. Stop the clock! No, don’t literally stop the clock, but consider turning the shower off when you’re lathering up or waiting for the recommended amount of time on your conditioner bottle. Think of this as the next level of turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth.

4. Reuse the captured water from the beginning of your shower or plug the sink and gather a small amount in the bottom to rinse off your razor. By using a small amount of water instead of running water, you can shave gallons off your monthly water bill (excuse the pun).

5. Replace some of your bath products with natural or biodegradable substitutes. Not only will you feel good about taking steps to protect your water quality, but many popular organic and biodegradable soaps and shampoos contain aloe or coconut oil to leave your skin feeling soft and clean.


Frannie wants you to try to level up this week by using one or more of these tips. Let her know how the challenge is going on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Good luck!



Thursday, January 10, 2019

BLOG: Seven Ways to Maintain Your Private Well

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Well maintenance is an important part of protecting groundwater. For a private well owner, understanding and practicing the basics of regular well maintenance can reduce the risks to the water supply as well as money by preventing costly maintenance issues.

Here are seven ways to maintain your well:

1. Never try to service your own well.
It's always best to contact a professional water well contractor - they use specialized equipment, materials, and techniques to keep your water safe and well system up and running. A homeowner who attempts to service their well in some way may accidentally introduce contamination into the well, drop objects into the well, or cause damage to the pump. It's always a best practice to use a professional!

2. Regular maintenance costs less.
It's much better to catch and address a small issue with a well system early before it turns into a much larger and much more expensive issue.

3. Learn what a well check-up or service should include.
A well maintenance check should include a flow test to determine system output (along with a check of the well's water level before and during pumping, pump motor performance, and general water quality), an inspection of the well equipment, and a test of the water for bacteria and nitrates (and any other potential contaminant of local concern). You should also receive a written report detailing the check-up that explains results, recommendations, and test results.

4. Maintain your well on an ongoing basis.
Check out this Homeowner Checklist from WellOwner.org for ways you can protect your well and groundwater every day - doing things like keeping chemicals far away from your well, sloping the ground away from your well for drainage when landscaping, and keeping your well records in a safe place.

5. Use qualified professionals.
When your well needs attention or inspection, find a qualified professional to do the job. Use this handy tool to find a certified contractor near you.

6. Ask questions and understand the problem.
Don't be afraid to ask questions of the well contractor. It's their job to help you understand what's going on and help you find ways to correct the issue. You'll get a better understanding of how your well system works and what happened to cause the problem in the first place.

7. Find old, unused wells on your property.
Abandoned wells should be properly sealed by a professional - not only do they provide a direct pathway for contaminants to enter an aquifer, they're also a safety issue, particularly abandoned hand-dug wells that are large enough to fall into. Find out more about old, unused wells.

Find out more about wells and well maintenance, and remember that maintaining a private well is the well owner's job!

Adapted from WellOwner.org.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {5 Minute Shower Challenge}

Frannie knows how important it is to save water every day, so she limits herself to a 5 minute shower. A quick shower uses 20-30 fewer gallons of water than taking a bath or a 10 minute shower!



Frannie wants YOU to take the 5 Minute Shower Challenge. It's easy! Just follow these directions:




  • Take a timer and set it for 5 minutes. 
  • Make sure you are finished with your shower when the timer goes off. 
  • Use the 30by30 mobile application, available on Android and iOS platforms, or start a journal to track how much water you have saved!
  • Challenge your family members to do the same. Encourage your family to use the 30by30 app to track how much water your entire family has saved!
  • Share the results of your 5 minute challenge with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We'd love to see how much water you've saved!