Skip to main content

Water testing available for area residents

November 1, 2011

Photo by Joseph Bell - Kim Bonfardine, watershed specialist for the Elk County Conservation District, discusses the private drinking water testing Tuesday morning during an Elk County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Officials have secured $150,000 through the Colcom Foundation's grant program, "Marcellus Environmental Fund," for the Headwaters Quality Drinking Water Project.
The initiative reportedly will provide low- to moderate-income families in Jefferson, Elk, Potter, Cameron, Clinton, Centre, Clearfield, and McKean counties with funding to secure chain-of-custody water sample analysis of their private water supplies prior to Marcellus Shale gas well drilling activities.
"Everybody needs to send in their applications as soon as possible because we're sending them to the labs, then the labs are setting up the sampling rounds for close proximity to each other," said Kim Bonfardine, watershed specialist for the Elk County Conservation District. "If you'd have five close to each other in Highland Township, they'd want to schedule it so they can get out there and do all five at once."
Dwellings with one person should have an income exceeding no more than $31,750; a two-person income dwelling tops out at $36,250; a three-person income dwelling is $40,888; a four-person income dwelling is $45,300; a five-person income dwelling is $48,950; a six-person income dwelling is $52,550; a seven-person income dwelling is $56,200; and eight or more people is $59,800.
"This isn't a low-income thing, it's a pretty moderate income level," Bonfardine said. "If you fall above the specifications, please still submit your grant application because if we don't get 100 of these income levels that are stated on here, we're going to go ahead and test all of them, up to 100.
"We want to get as many samples as possible, that's one of the main ideas, just to get a good idea as to what is going on in area well water and springs. A lot of other programs don't cover spring water sampling, so this is a good opportunity to get your spring tested if you have that type of water."
The first set of water samples took place in Jefferson and Clearfield counties. Testing is currently being conducted, having started Oct. 24 and ending Dec. 2, with a mandatory education workshop following. For folks living in Jefferson County, the workshop will be held on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 5-7 p.m. with a location to be determined. For Clearfield County, the workshop will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 5-7 p.m. with a location to be determined.
The second set of water samplings will take place in Elk and Centre counties. Testing will be conducted Jan. 9, 2012 through Feb. 17, 2012 with a mandatory education workshop following. For folks living in Elk County, the workshop will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. at a location to be determined. For folks living in Centre County, the workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
The third set of water samples will take place in Cameron and Clinton counties. Testing will be conducted March 12, 2012 through April 20, 2012 with a mandatory educational workshop following. For folks living in Cameron County, the workshop will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a location to be announced. For Clinton County, the workshop will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a location to be determined.
The fourth set of water samplings will take place in McKean and Potter counties. Testing will be conducted May 14, 2012 through June 22, 2012 with a mandatory educational workshop following. For folks living in McKean County, the workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a site to be announced. For Potter County, the workshop will be held on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a location to be determined.
"It's good with the drilling because people have now realized the importance of testing their water," said Elk County Commissioner June H. Sorg. "Before, they never thought of it, so now people have become more aware of the importance of testing their water.
"They come to your house, take the water right from your home."
Each county has 100 available samples apiece totaling 800 altogether for the eight-county region falling under the Headwaters umbrella.

The St. Marys Area girls' and boys' track and field teams hosted the Elk County Catholic and DuBois...
The defending District 9 Class A baseball champion is making a claim to be a favorite for that...
The Altoona Lions scored two runs in the top half of the seventh inning to edge the St. Marys Area...
On March 14, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law a contentious piece of legislation...