Birchwood Lakes Community Association Drinking Water Sampling and Testing Outreach Program

Dingman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania

Birchwood Lakes Community Association, Inc. is a private community in the Pocono Mountains in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania. It was established in the 1960s as a summer community, and currently, the community has over 870 homes that are now year-round residents. From a geological perspective, the region was glaciated during the last glaciation that retreated about 20,000 years ago. In geological terms, the region is known as the Glaciated Low Plateau Section of the Appalachian Plateaus Province. This region is characterized by rolling hills with dissected valleys with a number of man-made and natural lakes and ponds.

Starting in 2008, the Birchwood Lakes Community Associations has conducted a series of private well owner outreach, groundwater, well water, and surface water education programs. The drinking water and groundwater programs typically had four elements:

• A series of water sampling kits with different options would be developed to provide either a comprehensive screening or a routine screening and informational water testing with a discounted range of costs to the private well owner in the community.

• The sample kits were made available at a central location, or Mr. Brian Oram, licensed Professional Geologist was on-site to hand out kits, answer questions, and collect payment.

• Each homeowner that participated in the program would get a copy of their results and a review by Mr. Brian Oram with recommendations or action items.

• In some years, a summary of the findings was presented to the community and the people who had their water tested, along with a Q/A Session.

Since participating in this program, Mr. Brian Oram has developed a Mail-Order Testing Program. He would be available to conduct a semi-annular Community Drinking Water and Groundwater Education Program. To order a sampling kit to be mailed to your house and then mailed to the laboratory, please see the Get Tested / Level 3 section below or Contact Mr. Brian Oram.

Get Informed

The following are links to some of the past presentations made to the Birchwood Lakes Community on groundwater and water well testing and a podcast on septic systems:  

Oram Podcast on SepticSystems – Titled “Properly Maintaining Your On-Lot Septic System" (Apple Podcast)

Groundwater Flow Model – An Educational Tool

Maintain Your Well and Septic System

Poconos Groundwater Resource Management – Maintaining Well Yield and Groundwater Quality

Private Well Owner – Drinking Water Issues– Part I

Private Well Owner – Drinking WaterIssues – Part II

Water Cycle and Groundwater in Pennsylvania – Marcellus Shale Issues (NaturalGas, Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Unconventional Energy)

Wellhead Protection a PA Perspective

USGS Reports

Baseline assessment of groundwater quality in Pike County, Pennsylvania, 2015

Groundwater-QualityAssessment, Pike County, Pennsylvania, 2007

Figure 1: Source: USGS BaselineAssessment, 2015 (page 57)

Based on past water testing in the region and within the community, the following are the main contaminant or conditions of concern. One interesting problem is that the groundwater for the area is inherently pure. It can be corrosive to metal piping and fixtures, leach metals out of the local bedrock, and create a nuisance.

Learn about each of the following contaminants or conditions in our Get Informed Contaminants Section.

How to Shock Disinfect a Well and the Chemical We Recommend

Bacteria in Drinking Water

Lead in Drinking Water and Potentially Corrosive Water

Corrosion / Corrosivity (Copper, Zinc, low pH, low Alkalinity, low Hardness, and other metals)

Iron and Manganese Issues with Drinking Water

Saline Water (Naturally Occurring) –some areas may have groundwater with slightly higher levels of Sodium, Barium, and other related compounds. (High Total Dissolved Solids content and related contaminants and High pH, see Figure 1 (Intermediate FlowZone).

Methane, Dissolved Gas (Naturally Occurring – relatively low levels), and Radon ( Radon in air / Radon in water)

Arsenic in Drinking Water (Based on findings by the USGS for the region and not specifically the Birchwood Lakes Community)

Harmful Algal Blooms May Impact You, Your Pond or Lake, Your Well, and Your Pet

Check out our Drinking Water Self-Diagnostic Tool as the first step in your path to remediating your water issues. If you are new to the area, we recommend obtaining a copy of the Neighborhood Environmental Hazards Report for your address. If you need help evaluating the well and drilling water quality, we are happy to offer assistance. Assistance is typically facilitated through the Keystone Clean Water Team (SiteBlog).


We offer or facilitate a series of options when it comes to water testing. In addition, we offer Community-based or Event-based Outreach Programs.

Level 1 – Observational Self Testing

Self-Diagnostic Tool Our online questionnaire is a quick and easy way to self-diagnose your water quality issues by simply answering a series of questions. All that is required is observations you can see, smell, taste, or cause a nuisance.

Level2 – In-Home Self Screening Tests

Safe Home WELL WATER DIY In-home Screening Test Kit (Well Water Test for Private Wells)

Level3 – Mail Order Screening Lab Test Kits

Common tests kits recommended for private well owners:

WaterCheck Deluxe - Private Well Water Screening Test with Bacteria (Comprehensive Test – Done Initially)

WaterCheck Basic - Screening test done annually

But in few cases additional testing may be needed for nuisance bacteria or compounds, so if this is the case you may want to Contact Mr.Brian Oram.


The products listed below may be a solution to your situation. If you would like to get any information about these products or make a purchase, click the links below to view the CrystalQuest website in a new tab or window. If you would like to get an anonymous review of your results by CrystalQuest, we can send them a copy of your testing results without your contact information.


Point-of-Use Filters to Remove Trace Metals

Point-of-Use Filters to Remove Lead

Point-of-Use Filters to Remove Arsenic

Point-of-UseReverse Osmosis Treatment

WholeHouse Applications

Greensand Filter (Iron and Manganese)

Standard Water Softener

Salt-Free Water Conditioner (Slight Hardness Reductions)

Neutralizing Filters (low pH or acidic water)

Arsenic Removal System

UV Disinfection System (We do not recommend a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) )

Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems (Additional Pretreatment typically required includes Water Softener, Particle Filtration, and UV disinfection) (We strongly recommend getting a complete RO Scan Water Quality Test before buying any RO system)

Learn More about Reverse Osmosis and the Complete RO Scan

Local Professional Water Specialist

Greg Sorber Well Drilling
(Shock Disinfection and Pump Issues)
204 Niemchik Rd,
Hunlock Creek, PA 18621
Phone: 570-477-5393
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Duane Moyer Well Drilling
(Shock Disinfection, Well Drilling, Pump Service, and Water Treatment)
336 Gilberts Hill Rd
Lehighton, PA 18235
Phone: 570-386-5508
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Hook Well Drilling
(Shock Disinfection, Well Drilling,Pump Service, and Water Treatment)
408 Fallsdale Rd
Tyler Hill, PA 18469
Phone: 570-729-7870

Pocono Well and Pump Service
(Shock Disinfection, WaterTreatment, Pump Service, and Grinder Pump Repair)
21 Walbert Drive
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Phone: 570-243-1679
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