Many regions across the U.S. are experiencing drought conditions, and in the past few years Texas has been especially hard hit. Water Quality Products Managing Editor Kate Cline spoke with Bob Boerner, president of Culligan Southwest Inc., to find out how the drought is affecting water quality in the state.
Kate Cline: What is the status of the drought in Texas? What is the outlook?
Groundwater provides a valuable source of drinking water for millions of people across the U.S. But as new contaminants are discovered and droughts continue to worsen, resulting in depleted aquifers, it is increasingly important to monitor the quantity and quality of available groundwater. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently updated Water Quality Products on the status of groundwater quality in the U.S.
What is the role of the USGS in surveying and monitoring groundwater quality and availability in the U.S.?
U.S. groundwater faces increasing contamination & overuse
The source for drinking water is an important consideration when determining which water quality tests to run. Groundwater sources, especially private wells that are not tested on a regular basis, are susceptible to various naturally occurring and manmade contaminants.
The depth of a well is an important factor when determining which contaminants are present in groundwater sources. Shallow wells are more vulnerable to surface contaminants, such as gasoline from a spill, because the contaminant has less distance to travel.
Evaluating factors for testing groundwater quality
“Ignorance is bliss,” or so the old adage goes—but unfortunately, when it comes to water, ignorance can be dangerous. According to a survey conducted by the Nature Conservancy, 77% of Americans who do not use private water wells do not know where their drinking water comes from.
Inspection reveals excessive level of chemicals in utility’s drinking water supply systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a letter and inspection report to the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) identifying numerous deficiencies in the utility’s drinking water supply systems uncovered in a May 2012 inspection and sanitary survey.
Clean Water Systems & Stores Inc. now offers support for water well owners
Clean Water Systems & Stores Inc. has expanded its Water Quality Assurance Program to include support for water well owners who need to optimize their water treatment systems during the current drought. The drought has caused water shortages and some water tables to drop in affected areas and decreased water quality. The program provides tests water before and after existing treatment systems and includes recommendations on how to optimize water treatment systems to reduce water waste.
Three candidates seeking two spots on the NGWA board of directors
Three candidates are seeking two spots on the National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) board of directors, with the vote scheduled for Dec. 6 during the 2012 NGWA Groundwater Expo and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
The candidates are:
ProjectAlert notifications describe real-time flood, drought or water quality conditions across the country
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released ProjectAlert, which allows users to keep up with USGS scientists as they respond to floods, droughts and chemical spills. These alerts are official, yet informal notices that describe flood, drought or water quality conditions across the country, as well as how USGS field crews are responding to the events.
ProjectAlert notifications are published in real time by a USGS field scientist and let you know when the scientist is:
The USGS releases reports describing plan to collect groundwater data and providing information from groundwater quality samples
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is making available two reports related to groundwater quality and quality control, and well yield data for two monitoring wells near Pavillion, Wyo. The first USGS report describes the sampling and analysis plan that was developed to collect groundwater data. A second report provides the raw data and information from the groundwater quality samples.
The Watersafe test kit provides a quick, accurate and affordable way to test drinking water quality. These user-friendly kits test for 10 parameters: bacteria, pesticides, lead, nitrates, nitrites, pH, chlorine, iron, copper and hardness. They provide immediate results, and require no power, incubation, sample preparation or special storage.