Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Penn State Master Well Owners Now Accepting Applications For New Volunteers

If you are interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and you are willing to share what you learn with others, the Penn State Master Well Owner Program may be for you!  
The Penn State Master Well Owner Network (MWON) will provide free, online training for the first 20 volunteers who submit an application.  The deadline to apply  is February 20 or whenever 20 applicants are accepted into the course.
Volunteers must meet the following criteria:
-- You must NOT be employed by any company that provides paid services to private water supply owners (i.e. water testing companies, water treatment companies, water well drillers, etc.) and
-- You must be willing to pass along basic private water system management knowledge to other private water system owners.
Each volunteer who applies and is accepted into the program will receive details on how to access the new, online MWON online course at no cost. Successful applicants will be able to start the course on February 24, 2020 and the course will end on March 24, 2020. 
The course includes six chapters covering private water system basics, well and spring construction, water testing, water supply protection, water treatment, water conservation, and outreach strategies.
Each chapter includes a mixture of short videos and text along with links to additional resources and a short quiz. Volunteers must answer 70 percent of the online quiz questions correctly to be certified as a volunteer. 
A computer with a high-speed internet connection is recommended to view all the course materials and videos. 
Volunteers who successfully complete the training course and pass a short exam will receive a free copy of the 80-page publication-- A Guide to Private Water Systems in Pennsylvania, discounted water testing through the Penn State water testing lab, and access to various MWON educational materials.
In return, MWON volunteers are asked to pass along what they have learned to other private water supply owners and submit a simple, one-page annual report of their educational accomplishments.
Pennsylvania is home to over one million private water wells and springs but it is one of the few states that do not provide statewide regulations to protect these rural drinking water supplies. 
In 2004, Penn State Extension and several partner agencies created the Master Well Owner Network; trained volunteers who are dedicated to promoting the proper construction, testing, and maintenance of private water wells, springs, and cisterns throughout Pennsylvania. 
Since its inception, hundreds of MWON volunteers have provided education to over 50,000 private water supply owners throughout the state.
Volunteers who recently completed the online course said about the experience:
-- I liked the course. It was very informative, and I will use the information I learned myself and to reach others.
-- I have had water wells for over 35 years and had found it difficult to get GOOD information on care and maintenance of existing wells.
If interested, fill out an online application for the MWON program.
Visit the Penn State Master Well Owner Network webpage for more information on the program.

(Reprinted from the Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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