Pennsylvania is home to over one million private water wells and springs but it is one of the few states that do not provide statewide regulations to protect these rural drinking water supplies.
In 2004, Penn State Cooperative Extension and several partner agencies created the Master Well Owner Network, a group of trained volunteers who are dedicated to promoting the proper construction, testing, and maintenance of private water wells, springs and cisterns throughout Pennsylvania.
Since its inception, hundreds of MWON volunteers have attended Saturday training workshops to learn about proper water supply management practices. Starting on Feb. 11, this same training will be available entirely online.
Prospective volunteers need to submit an application and be accepted into the program.
Applications will be limited to about 15 eligible volunteers. Once accepted, each volunteer will receive seven weekly emails with links to short reading assignments and video presentations. Participants in online training will largely be able to determine their own training schedule.
One optional online meeting will be offered in March to help answer questions (attendance at this optional meeting this will require a computer with high speed connection and speakers).
Volunteers who successfully complete the training course and pass a short exam will receive a free copy of the 80-page publication "A Guide to Private Water Systems in Pennsylvania," a coupon good for a 10 percent discount on water testing through the Penn State water testing lab, and access to various MWON educational materials.
In return, MWON volunteers are asked to pass along what they have learned to other private water supply owners and submit an annual report of their educational accomplishments.
To learn more and complete an application, visit the following website: http://extension.psu.edu/water/mwon/volunteer/online-mwon-volunteer-training
Published Jan. 9, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.