Water well testing play big step forward for Lycoming County

It all sounds so technical.

The Lycoming County commissioners unanimously approved a $250,000 grant application last week that, if approved, will fund a locally unprecedented project to support a countywide groundwater quality monitoring project.

Translated into simple English, that means a baseline for groundwater quality data for private water supplies from wells will be tested.

And that’s important.

Given the large number of wells in our area, the ability to track the condition and quality of water coming out of those wells always has been a matter of curiosity. And while the project doesn’t specifically target the Marcellus Shale gas drilling industry, let’s be honest, there is a certain amount of cynicism about the health of water supplies since the advent of the industry in the region. The ability to test for certain elements known to be used by the industry is something we hope will quell some fears.

But the overall purpose of the well testing will be to establish a baseline of water quality in general. The first year will focus on 70 private water wells. The county hopes to make it a multi-year project to track water quality and quantity over time.

This is very good news for the future integrity and health of the water supply in Lycoming County.