Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Groundwater monitoring program introduced by Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Health Department has unveiled a new groundwater monitoring program that officials say "will be instrumental in assessing water quantity trends locally, thereby allowing for county issuance of preliminary drought status instead of waiting for official state declarations."

From a Health Department press release:
In the past, several county-wide drought emergencies emphasized the impact water quantity has on the health and welfare of county residents. Therefore, the Division of Water Quality Management (WQM) worked in collaboration with the United States Geological Service (USGS) to plan, develop and implement a groundwater monitoring program throughout the county.

Data collection for the program began in 2005 and includes a network of nineteen (19) wells located on both public and private properties. The selected wells currently are not in use or impacted by large groundwater withdrawals and are monitored by WQM staff monthly.

The results collected from wells participating at least five years in the program are currently available for review on the MCHD website at in the Programs section.

The results will assist WQM staff in developing localized drought status levels such as Watch, Warning and Emergency during times of extended low precipitation and will allow them to offer recommendations for residents to reduce non-essential water use.

For questions regarding the program, please contact Kyle Schmeck at 610-278-5117 X6725.

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