Penn State Extension's H2OSolutions app puts water-quality information at fingertip
Penn State Extension has an app for the 3 million people in Pennsylvania relying on unregulated water sources.
A team of educators at the extension, an outreach of the College of Agricultural Sciences, released H2OSolutions, which allows users to check on water quality and on potential water safety questions.
Users can look up results from private, informal tests by county, providing a general idea of the water quality in an area, said Susan Boser, one of the developers of H2OSolutions.
The app allows users to enter different characteristics of their water — such as a sulfur smell or black flecks — to find out what the problem might be. The app directs them to the closest resource for information, Boser said.
“It's kind of a jumping-off point,” she said.
Private water sources such as wells and streams are unregulated in Pennsylvania, meaning homeowners have to determine the safety of the water on their own.
About 3 million Pennsylvanians rely on private water sources, making it the state with the second-largest private water supply in the country, said Bryan Swistock, one of the leaders of the project.
“They can't rely on government regulations to help them,” he said.
The app is being marketed toward real estate professionals who deal with private water sources, Swistock said. Based on the sight and smell of the water, users can determine what testing might have to be done.
Cliff Treyens, public awareness director for the National Ground Water Association, said the organization has received inquiries about private drinking water from real estate agents.
“Realtors are actually a very important audience because they can be informed and they can help the well owner understand better the importance of safe ground water,” he said.
Treyens said house buyers and real estate agents need to understand the importance of knowing whether well water at a site is of good quality.
“Understanding the infrastructure goes along with the house,” he said. “It needs to be scrutinized just like any other aspect.”
Megan Henney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- As House looks to dismantle state stores, hybrid system might be option
- 3 killed, 1 wounded in Philadelphia shootings
- ‘Tipping point’ near for Pa. government, conservative expert predicts at Freedom Forum
- PEMA, National Guard helping Bradford after water runs dry
- Judge orders Harrisburg to stop enforcing 3 gun ordinances
- Pa. Senate approves ‘paycheck protection’ constitutional amendment
- Liquor privatization bill clears Pennsylvania House panel
- Western Pennsylvania shivers toward record for coldest February
- State could join feds in job training probe
- Former state Treasurer McCord’s quick fall prompts deeper analysis