The Keystone Clean Water Team (501 c3) originated in Carbon County, PA, as the Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Program. The Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Group was a local offshoot of The Groundwater Foundation Groundwater Guardian program. Groundwater Guardian was a program of The Groundwater Foundation that provides support and encouragement for communities and teams of all types (cities, counties, watersheds, organizations, agencies, schools, etc.) to begin groundwater awareness activities, motivation to continue these efforts, and recognition for their achievements. Groundwater Guardian is a program of The Groundwater Foundation that provides support and encouragement for communities and teams of all types (cities, counties, watersheds, organizations, agencies, schools, etc.) to begin groundwater awareness activities, motivation to continue these efforts, and recognition for their achievements and our local chapter was considered a recognized Groundwater Guardian Community from 2000 through 2019 (Ground Guardian Profile 2011 AND 2019).
The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) -Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Program (CCGG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer, environmental education organization that provides homeowners with information on private wells, water quality and quantity, and septic systems. We are dedicated to protecting private well owners from illnesses caused by our drinking water. We advance good groundwater stewardship by raising awareness of various groundwater issues that affect everyone with a private water supply. We can help you get your water tested at the lab of your choice and explain the test results.
Our Most active project was from 2004 to 2009, Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera (PV) Investigation.
In 2004, using state cancer registry records, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) found a PV cluster in northeast Pennsylvania. PV is part of a disease group called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), a group of slow-growing blood cancers where the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.
In 2006, ATSDR was asked to help study PV patterns in the area. From 2007-2008, ATSDR reviewed medical records, conducted genetic testing, and confirmed this PV cluster.
In 2009, Congress funded ATSDR to continue this investigation. ATSDR oversees 18 projects with PADOH, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations. These projects are based on recommendations from an expert panel. The panel identified four areas for investigation: epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental studies.
In 2014, the last of the contracts for the 18 different projects ended. Learn More
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 Septic Systems – Titled "Properly Maintaining Your On-Lot Septic System" (Apple Podcast)
Groundwater Flow Model – An Educational Tool
Poconos Groundwater Resource Management – Maintaining Well Yield and Groundwater Quality
Water Cycle and Groundwater in Pennsylvania – Marcellus Shale Issues (Natural Gas, Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Unconventional Energy)
Rain Barrel Workshop with the Carbon County Environmental Education Center
The Carbon County Environmental Education Center hosts various programs to promote awareness about major environmental problems and how people can combat them.
Based on past water testing in the region and the community, the following are the primary contaminants or conditions of concern. One interesting problem is that the groundwater in 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 the following contaminants or conditions in our Get Informed Contaminants Section.
PA Groundwater Monitoring Data (USGS) - Welcome to the Pennsylvania Groundwater Monitoring Network data mapper. The Pennsylvania Water Science Center has collected water quality data for the Groundwater Monitoring Network since 2015; to date, 353 samples have been collected from 28 wells across the State of Pennsylvania.
Arsenic in Drinking Water (Based on findings by the USGS for the region and not specifically the Birchwood Lakes Community)
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. We are happy to offer assistance if you need help evaluating the well and drilling water quality. Assistance is typically facilitated through the Keystone Clean Water Team (Site & Blog).
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.
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.
Safe Home WELL WATER DIY In-home Screening Test Kit (Well Water Test for Private Wells)
New Homeowners to Region – Quick FHA/VA Bacteria, Iron, Manganese, Lead, Nitrate, Nitrite, pH, Turbidity Test
Common test kits recommended for private well owners in Carbon County, PA:
WaterCheck Deluxe - Private Well Water Screening Test with Bacteria (Comprehensive Test – Done Initially)
WaterCheck Basic - Screening test done annually
Typical test kits recommended for public water systems in Carbon County, PA:
City Water Basic - Screening test done annually
CityWater Standard – If you suspect a very high issue with chlorine or chlorineby-products
But in a 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 Crystal Quest or the US Water Systems website in a new tab or window. If you would like to get an anonymous review of your results by Crystal Quest, we can send them a copy of your testing results without your contact information.
Greensand Filter (Iron and Manganese)- Common Problem in Carbon County, PA
Salt-Free Water Conditioner (Slight Hardness Reductions)
Neutralizing Filters (low pH or acidic water)- Common Problem in Carbon County, PA
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)
The Pioneer is a one-of-a-kind whole-house lead, cyst, and POFA/PFOS removal system. This system is designed to deliver clean water to the 18+ million Americans living in communities with lead pipe water mains and the 180+ million Americans with tap water contaminated with PFOA/PFOS. Due to the unique nature and cost of replacement cartridges for this system, we recommend proper pretreatment to extend the filter life as long as possible.
Note: We've teamed up with various select partners to help support the KnowYourH2O Path to Clean Water mission regarding Testing, Treatment, and Training. To learn more about each company and its products and services Click Here.