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Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology

Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology

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Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology

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  1. Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality Wilkes University GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Wilkes Barre, PA 18766 http://www.water-research.net

  2. Center for Environmental Quality Non-profit/ equal opportunity employer, is operated and managed, within the GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Outreach Programs • Environmental and Professional Education and Training • Applied Research • Community and Business Outreach Programs Website: http://www.water-research.net

  3. The Water Cycle

  4. What is a Watershed? The simple definitionIt's the area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater. Right Now Your Sitting In a Watershed ! They cross county, state, and national boundaries(This is the challenge !)

  5. Watershed Map

  6. Watershed View

  7. Non Point Source Pollution Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants include:

  8. Sources of Non-Point Pollution Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas; Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals; Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks; Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, urban runoff and faulty septic systems; and Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification are also sources of nonpoint source pollution. We are Still the Largest Source of Oil Pollution to the Environment !

  9. Sources of Pollution Causes of Contamination Improper Waste DisposalImproper Well ConstructionPoor Site SelectionWells Not Properly AbandonedImproper Waste StorageLack of Information on Hazardous Sites or Activities (Partial Listing)

  10. Primary Aquifers in PA

  11. Well Geology

  12. Surface Water & Groundwater

  13. Groundwater Pocono's Region Based on the geology of the Pocono's region, the Primary water quality problems are as follows: Corrosive Water Low pH Soft Water (low hardness) to Moderate Hardness Iron and Manganese Discolored Water – Reddish to Brown Tints Total Coliform Bacteria Sulfur Odors and Elevated Sulfates

  14. Coliform Bacteria Coliform BacteriaAbsent or < 1 colony/100 ml Testing PurposeUsed as an Indicator of Sanitary Condition of Water Source SourcesNatural Soil Bacteria Human and Animal Waste Insect Waste

  15. Phosphate • Phosphate will stimulate the growth of plankton and aquatic plants which provide food for larger organisms, including: zooplankton, fish, humans, and other mammals. Plankton represent the base of the food chain. Initially, this increased productivity will cause an increase in the fish population and overall biological diversity of the system. But as the phosphate loading continues and there is a build-up of phosphate in the lake or surfacewater ecosystem, the aging process of lake or surface water ecosystem will be accelerated.

  16. Phosphate Cycle

  17. Before and After

  18. Nitrate + Nitrite Drinking Water Standards(Primary) • Nitrate: 10 mg as N/ L • Nitrite: 1 mg N/L Health Concern • Blue Baby Syndrome- Methemoglobinemia Sources • Fertilizers • Human and Animal Waste • Non-anthropogenic sources (fixation, rock weathering) • Atmospheric Deposition

  19. Nitrogen Cycle

  20. What Can We Do? • Control Nutrient and Fertilizer Use • Conserve Water • Control Stormwater Runoff • Properly Store and Handle Hazardous Waste • Maintain Septic Systems • Community Action and Education • Monitoring

  21. Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality Wilkes University GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Wilkes Barre, PA 18766 http://www.water-research.net

  22. Groundwater Moves 1. Which ways can groundwater move?a. Upb. Downc. Sidewaysd. All of the above 1. d. All of the aboveAlthough most movement is lateral (sideways), it can move straight up or down. Groundwater simply follows the path of least resistance by moving from higher pressure zones to lower pressure zones.

  23. Groundwater Moves 2. How is the speed of groundwater movement measured?a. Feet per dayb. Feet per weekc. Feet per monthd. Feet per year 2. d. Feet per yearGroundwater movement is usually measured in feet per year. This is why a pollutant that enters groundwater requires many years before it purifies itself or is carried to a monitored well.

  24. Groundwater Moves 3. How is stream flow usually measured?a. Feet per secondb. Feet per minutec. Feet per hourd. Yards per hour 3. a. Feet per secondWater flow in streams/rivers is measured in feet per second.

  25. Groundwater Moves 4. What determines how fast groundwater moves?a. Temperatureb. Air pressurec. Depth of water tabled. Size of materials 4. d. Size of materialsCoarse materials like sand and gravel allow water to move rapidly. (They also form excellent aquifers because of their holding capacity.) In contrast, fine-grained materials, like clay or shale, are very difficult for water to move through. Thus, water moves very, very slowly in these materials.

  26. Groundwater Moves 5. Can the water table elevation change often?a. Yesb. No 5. a. YesWater table elevations often fluctuate because of recharge and discharge variations. They generally peak in the winter and spring due to recharge from rains and snow melt. Throughout the summer the water table commonly declines due to evaporation, uptake by plants (transpiration), increased public use, industrial use, and crop, golf course and lawn irrigation. Elevations commonly reach their lowest point in early fall.

  27. Groundwater Moves 6. Does aquifer storage capacity vary?a. Yesb. No6. a. YesJust like the water level in rivers and streams, the amount of water in the groundwater supply can vary due to seasonal, weather, use and other factors.

  28. Watersheds, Non-Point Pollution, and Hydrology Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality Wilkes University GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Wilkes Barre, PA 18766 http://wilkes.edu/~gse

  29. Private Water SupplyA Pennsylvania Perspective Mr. Brian Oram, PG Professional Geologist, PASEO, Licensed Well Driller Lab Director, Center for Environmental Quality Wilkes University GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Wilkes Barre, PA 18766 http://wilkes.edu/~gse

  30. Center for Environmental Quality Non-profit/ equal opportunity employer, is operated and managed, within the GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Engineering Department Outreach Programs • Environmental and Professional Education and Training • Applied Research • Community and Business Outreach Programs Website: http://wilkes.edu/~eqc

  31. Keys to a Safe Drinking Water • The Sanitary Survey- Proper Site Location • State Federal and Local Regulations • Types of Well Water Sources • Well Drilling and Construction • Initial Water Testing • Well Water Conditioning or Treatment • Well Maintenance

  32. Periodically Inspect Drain Surface Water Away Install Sanitary Seal Annual Testing Maintain Records Start a Community Based Groundwater Education Program Proper Abandonment Chemical Storage, Disposal and Use Keep Wellhead Above Grade Proper Well Location Septic System Maintenance Recycle used Oil and Participate in Hazardous Chemical Disposal Programs Protect Your Water SourceThings You or Your Community Can Do

  33. Why Test My Water ? A USGS survey found that 70% of private wells were contaminated. This contamination could result in acute or chronic health concerns. In general, there are no regulations related to well construction, placement, or required testing. It is up to you to determine the safety of your water. EPA recommends, at minimum, an annual water test for private wells.

  34. Drinking Water Regulations The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed in 1974 and amended in 1986 and 1996, gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to set drinking water standards. These standards are divided into two broad categories: Primary Standards (NPDWR) and Secondary Standards (NSDWR).

  35. Primary Standards (NPDWR) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Primary standards protect drinking water quality by limiting the levels of specific contaminants that can adversely affect public health and are known or anticipated to occur in water. They take the form of Maximum Contaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques. There are over 100 chemical and biological primary drinking water standards, which include: trace metals, disinfection agents, disinfection by- products, radiological, microbiological agents, and organic chemicals. Examples: Arsenic, Lead, MTBE, total coliform, Giardia, Trihalomethanes, Asbestos, Copper, Benzene, Trichloroethane, etc.

  36. Secondary Standards National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations These standards were established more for cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor or color) in drinking water. The secondary standards include: aluminum, chloride, color, corrosivity, fluoride, foaming agents, iron, manganese, odor, pH, silver, sulfate, total dissolved solids, and zinc.

  37. What Should I Test The Selection of the Appropriate Testing Parameters Depends on YOUR Water • How does it taste? • Do you have odor problems ? • Are there any aesthetic problems, such as: color, turbidity, grittiness, or staining ? • Where are you located ? • How much do you want to spend ? Comprehensive testing can cost over $2500.00

  38. Salty or Brackish Taste Alkali Taste Metallic or Bitter Taste High Sodium Elevated Hardness or alkalinity Corrosion, Low pH, high metallic content (Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb,Al, Zn) Taste Problems

  39. Rotten Egg / Musty Odor Oily Methane Smell Chemical/ Solvent Sulfate, Sulfur, Nuisance Bacteria Gasoline, Oil Contamination or Nuisance Bacteria Organic Material or Natural Gas Industrial Chemicals Odors

  40. Sediments and Stains Milky or Cloudy Precipitation of carbonates / sulfates, excessive air, suspended solids, aquifer material Bluish Green – Green Precipitates Copper, hardness, aggressive water and corrosion by-products, nuisance bacteria Blackish Tint or Black Slimes Reactions with manganese and possibly iron, nuisance bacteria Yellowish or Reddish Tint or Slimes Humic material, dissolved or precipitated iron, nuisance bacteria

  41. Impacts Water Supply Known Hazards Areas • Waste Disposal Sites • Chemical Storage • Chemical Spills • Underground Storage • Pipelines • Sewage and Sludge Disposal Surrounding Water Users • Well Construction • Well Spacing • Water Withdrawal • Recharge Areas Land-use • Residential (Rural or Urban) • Industrial • Agricultural • Commercial • Undeveloped Woodland Water Source • Well, Spring, Cistern, Dug Well • Water Characteristics • Geology • Well Construction and Age • Distribution System Type / Age

  42. Groundwater Pocono's Region Based on the geology of the Pocono's region, the Primary water quality problems are as follows: Corrosive Water Low pH Soft Water (low hardness) to Moderate Hardness Iron and Manganese Discolored Water – Reddish to Brown Tints Total Coliform Bacteria Sulfur Odors and Elevated Sulfates

  43. Less Common Problems These water quality are not common to Groundwater in Pocono's Region. Elevated Nitrate- Nitrite LevelsRadon or RadiologicalOrganic Contamination Elevated Trace Metals (except corrosion by-products like Copper, Lead, Aluminum, Zinc)Salty or Brackish Water (some areas) Trihalomethanes Pathogenic Organisms

  44. Coliform Bacteria Coliform BacteriaAbsent or < 1 colony/100 ml Testing PurposeUsed as an Indicator of Sanitary Condition of Water Source SourcesNatural Soil Bacteria Human and Animal Waste Insect Waste

  45. Corrosive Water • Chemical or Biochemical Reaction between the water and metal surfaces. • The corrosion process is an oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable ore state. • Corrosion can also be accelerated by: • 1) low pH; • 2) high flow rate within the piping; • 3) high water temperature; • 4) Chemistry of the water; and • 4) presence of suspended solids, such as sand.

  46. Physical Signs of Corrosion Leaky Pipes Water Has Bitter Taste Greenish Blue Stains Red or Discolored Water Premature Failure of Water Heaters/ Heat Exchange Units Elevated Levels of Copper, Lead, Aluminum, Zinc, Iron, Chromium Check for Corrosion Testing for Cu and Pb and other metals and TDS Corrosivity Testing – Saturation Index Nuisance Bacteria Testing Evidence of Corrosion

  47. pH pH < 7 acidic a pH > 7 basic NSDWR – 6.5 – 8.5 Problems • Bitter or Alkali Taste • Corrosion • Scale Formation • Leaching Metals

  48. Water Hardness • The hardness of a water is a measure of the concentration of the multivalent cations (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, etc) associated with carbonates (CO3) . • Hardness is typically reported as mg /L as CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) • Grains per gallon (1 gpg (US) = 17.12 mg CaCO3/L ). • Hardness Classification: • Soft: 0 to 17 mg CaCO3/L • Slightly Hard: 17 to 60 mg/L; • Moderately Hard 60 to 120 mg/L • Hard 120 to 180 mg/L • Very Hard > 180 mg/L

  49. Nitrate + Nitrite Drinking Water Standards(Primary) • Nitrate: 10 mg as N/ L • Nitrite: 1 mg N/L Health Concern • Blue Baby Syndrome- Methemoglobinemia Sources • Fertilizers • Human and Animal Waste • Non-anthropogenic sources (fixation, rock weathering) • Atmospheric Deposition

  50. Nitrogen Cycle