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Water wellness awareness

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According to the Foundation for Pennsylvania Wetlands, the Keystone state has more miles of streams and rivers than any other state except Alaska. Those waterways are of prime importance to the human and non-human lives that depend upon them. “Pennsylvania is home to more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers and more than 160,000 acres of lakes, so it is vital that we maintain and monitor these valuable resources,” states Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell regarding the significance of the agency’s activities related to water quality.

Even beyond state boundaries, Pennsylvania waterways directly affect the health and well-being of people and nature from New York City to the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, to the Ohio Valley, providing drinking water, replenishing estuaries, sustaining crops and supporting an array of plant and animal life.

Water, in its many forms, is often taken for granted. As we impatiently wait for the deep snow cover in our region to disappear, that “white stuff” is liquefying and trickling down through gaps and spaces in regional soils, being filtered through sand and rock as it becomes groundwater and ultimately our drinking water.

Pike County, where I live, is almost entirely dependent on groundwater originating from private, community and municipal wells and springs to meet its drinking water needs. On Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m., the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) will host “Discovering Your Drinking Water” at the district office at 556 Rte. 402 in Blooming Grove, PA. The free event will focus on the importance of groundwater and provide useful tips on maintaining good drinking water quality.

The session is open to the public, and the first 10 registrants will receive a free kit to test their own drinking water. The test will evaluate coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH and total dissolved solids. Results will be forwarded to homeowners along with any potential steps needed to improve drinking water. Contact PCCD at pikecd@pikepa.org or 570/226-8220 to register.

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