Monday, March 27, 2017

Episode 361 (3-27-17): Water from Wells, Springs, and Cisterns Gets a Check-up through the Virginia Household Water Quality Program


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:22)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-24-17.
 

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 27, 2017.

SOUND – ~4 sec – running water faucet

This week, we drop in on an event where people line up to talk about their household water faucets.  Sound plumb unbelievable?  Well, just have a listen for about 70 seconds.

VOICES - ~74 sec

You’ve been listening to citizen participants and Virginia Tech faculty at the Virginia Household Water Quality Program clinic kick-off in Montgomery County on March 20, 2017. T he program offers drinking-water clinics in which people who rely on private wells, springs, or cisterns can get their water tested inexpensively and receive a report interpreting the results.  Citizens pick up a sampling kit and instructions, collect water from a household faucet (or in some cases, directly from a spring or other water source), and return the samples two days later.  Tech laboratories analyze the samples for bacteria, lead, arsenic, nitrate, iron, sulfate, and several other constituents.  After about four weeks, program faculty hold a meeting to give participants their confidential results, offer interpretation of the analyses, and provide other information on managing water systems.  The clinics in 2017 run from March 15 to November 1 and will cover over 50 Virginia localities.  In operation since 1989, the program has covered the Commonwealth several times, with the results providing valuable information to specific homeowners and offering broader snapshots of groundwater conditions within localities.

A companion Tech program, the Virginia Well Owner Network, consists of trained Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and volunteers who assist Virginians with water-well questions and problems.  Both programs are administered by Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, through Virginia Cooperative Extension.  For more information about these programs, search online for the Virginia Household Water Quality Program; phone (540) 231-9058; or contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Kelli Scott of Virginia Cooperative Extension, and to Brian Benham and Erin James Ling of the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering, for their help with this episode.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

PHOTOS
Sample bottles and instruction sheets included in participant kits in the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, March 20, 2017.
Kits containing sampling bottles and instructions await pickup by participants at the Virginia Household Water Quality Program kickoff for Montgomery County on March 20, 2017, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Part of the training video for participants in the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, being shown on March 20, 2017, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

SOURCES 

Used for Audio


Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering/Virginia Household Water Quality Program, “Clinic Description,” online at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu; “Upcoming Events,” online at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu/events.php; and “Water Sample 2016 (3 min./16 sec. training video), online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuaJa0yxYIE.

Virginia Cooperative Extension, “Home Water Quality” publications page, online at http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/tags.resource.html/pubs_ext_vt_edu:home-water-quality (includes county reports from the Household Water Quality Program, along with other information on managing household water systems),

For More Information about Groundwater or Water Wells

Robby Korth, Virginia Tech researchers: Flint-like problems also present in Virginia wells, Roanoke Times, 4/10/16.

Jim Metzner, “Pulse of the Planet,” online at http://www.pulseplanet.com/. Following are links to segments (each two minutes long) on groundwater and water wells in Virginia, the first two with Virginia well-driller Eric Rorrer and the third with Erin Ling of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program:
March 10, 2014: Water-Drilling
;
March 11, 2014: Water - Surface and Ground
;
March 12, 2014: Water-Well Maintenance
.

National Ground Water Association, online at http://www.ngwa.org/Pages/default.aspx.

J. A. Poff, A Homeowner’s Guide to the Development, Maintenance, and Protection of Springs as a Drinking Water Source, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, 1999; available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/55268.

U.S. Geological Survey, “Karst Topography - Teacher's Guide and Paper Model,” online at http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/cave/karst.html.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “USGS Water Science School,” online at http://water.usgs.gov/edu/.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Virginia Natural Heritage Karst Program, online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/karsthome.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Groundwater Basics,” at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/GroundwaterProtectionSteeringCommittee/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the Groundwater subject category.

The following previous episodes relate to Virginia groundwater:
Episode 75, 8/15/11 – on springs;
Episode 158, 4/22/13 – on caves, for Virginia Cave Week (featuring music from the Luray Caverns “Stalacpipe Organ”);
Episode 219 – 6/23/14 – on well drilling in ancient and modern times;
Episode 258 – 3/23/15 – on groundwater recharge during winter;
Episode 306, 3/7/16 – on groundwater’s connections and importance, for National Groundwater Awareness Week.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water.

Life Science Course
LS.6 - ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.2 – water chemistry and its impact on life processes.

Chemistry Course
CH.6 – chemical properties in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.