Well Informed Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 2- Winter 2013

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Happy New Year! It seems like a good time to
reflect on the successes of the past year and
look forward to all we have planned in 2014.
In 2013, the Virginia Household Water Quality
Program (VAHWQP) conducted 21 drinking
water clinics in reaching 2800 Virginians in 27
counties. A total of 1271 household water samples
were analyzed for bacteria and 12 chemical
constituents on the Virginia Tech campus.
About 44% of all household water samples analyzed
tested positive for total coliform bacteria,
and 9% for E. Coli bacteria. Nearly 20% of samples
exceed the recommended maximum level
for lead in first draw samples. A phone survey
conducted in 2013 of past clinic participants
(n=500; RR=30%), indicated people are taking
action to improve water quality after attending
a clinic. Seventy percent of respondents took
one action; 64% took more than one. Most
commonly, people had their septic systems
pumped (52%), sought additional testing (38%),
shock chlorinated (36%), took steps to maintain
their wells or installed treatment devices (34%
each).
Our capacity to deliver programming
through our trained
Extension agents and volunteer
network continues to grow! In
2013, three VAMWON
(Virginia Master Well Owner
Network) training workshops
were attended by 46 people,
increasing our capacity to an
amazing 89 volunteers, 59 Extension
Agents, and 24 agency collaborators
representing 64 Virginia counties and 4 cities.
VAMWON agents and volunteers make hundreds
of contacts each year, spreading the word
about groundwater protection, the importance
of routine testing, proper well construction and
care, and options for addressing water problems.
Thanks to our collaborating Extension agents
and excellent laboratory staff here on campus
[Kelly Peeler (lab manager) and Asa Spiller (lab
assistant)], we are on track to offer more water
testing, interpretation and education than ever
before! Drinking water clinics are scheduled in
40 counties in 2014, and for the first time in a
long time, will be held in many counties in the
Coastal Plain of Virginia, including on the Eastern
Shore (Figure 1). See page 4 for a full list.
We will be announcing additional VAMWON
trainings in the near future. Thanks for all your
support and hard work—we hope that 2014
treats you “well”!

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