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  • 08/28/2019 1:35 PM | Pat Levak (Administrator)

    Looking for a great way to educate kids on what an aquifer is and how it works? Check out AwesomeAquifer.com for information on how to get your own Awesome Aquifer Kit!


  • 05/07/2019 1:40 PM | David Evener (Administrator)

    Illinois lawmakers are considering raising the state’s gas tax by 19 cents a gallon and hiking vehicle fees to pay for transportation infrastructure repairs. Read full story at http://www.newstrib.com/news/bill-seeks-to-increase-illinois-gas-tax-by-cents-to/article_76d30754-509c-11e9-b9ca-b71a36ee432d.html?fbclid=IwAR0MqSmtqBBAZfV8pNIkfLT6ijra0CTltERblJipw8KjPOZGeHVw3xJOQsE.

  • 05/07/2019 1:39 PM | David Evener (Administrator)

    Residential water quality continues to make headlines and is top of mind for many homeowners. Educate yourself so you’re not caught off guard with common consumer questions.

    Be sure to check out this article in the May issue of Water Well Journal®.

  • 05/07/2019 1:35 PM | David Evener (Administrator)

    The rate of workforce drug positivity hit a 14-year high in 2018, according to a new analysis released on April 11 by Quest Diagnostics.

    Positivity rates in the combined U.S. workforce increased nearly five percent in urine drug tests (4.4 percent in 2018 vs. 4.2 percent in 2017), climbing to the highest level since 2004 (4.5 percent). The rates are now more than 25 percent higher than the 30-year low of 3.5 percent recorded between 2010 and 2012.

    “Our in-depth analysis shows that marijuana is not only present in our workforce, but use continues to increase,” said Barry Sample, Ph.D., senior director of science and technology at Quest Diagnostics. “As marijuana policy changes, and employers consider strategies to protect their employees, customers, and the general public, employers should weigh the risks that drug use, including marijuana, poses to their business.”

    Marijuana continues to top the list of the most commonly detected illicit substances across all workforce categories (general U.S. workforce; federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce; and combined U.S. workforce, which includes the prior two populations) and specimen types (urine, oral fluid, and hair).

    The rate of marijuana positivity increased in nearly all workforce categories. In the general U.S. workforce, marijuana positivity increased nearly eight percent in urine testing (2.8 percent in 2018 vs. 2.6 percent in 2017) and almost 17 percent since 2014 (2.4 percent). For the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, which utilizes only urine testing, marijuana positivity grew nearly five percent between 2017 (0.84 percent) and 2018 (0.88 percent) and nearly 24 percent since 2014 (0.71 percent).

    In the general U.S. workforce, the positivity rate for opiates in urine drug testing declined across all opiate categories. Among the general workforce screening for opiates — mostly codeine and morphine — positivity declined nearly 21 percent between 2017 and 2018 (0.31 percent in 2018 vs. 0.39 percent in 2017), the largest drop in three years and a nearly 37 percent decrease since the peak in 2015 (0.49 percent).

    Among the more specific tests for other prescription opiates, the positivity for semisynthetic opiates — hydrocodone and/or hydromorphone — declined two percent between 2017 (0.51 percent) and 2018 (0.50 percent) and 43 percent since the five-year high in 2014 (0.88 percent). Similarly, the positivity for oxycodones — oxycodone and/or oxymorphone — declined more than 29 percent between 2017 (0.61 percent) and 2018 (0.43 percent) and more than 46 percent since the five-year high in 2014 (0.80 percent).

    Urine drug test results for the general U.S. workforce for heroin, indicated by the presence of the 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM) metabolite, declined six percent (0.031 percent in 2018 vs. 0.033 percent in 2017) and more than 16 percent since its peak in 2015 and 2016 (0.037 percent). Cocaine positivity declined nearly seven percent in urine and more than 19 percent in oral fluid testing, but increased slightly year-over-year (6.3 percent) in hair testing.

    Both heroin and cocaine positivity in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce showed large declines between 2017 and 2018. Heroin positivity declined nearly 32 percent between 2017 (0.019 percent) and 2018 (0.013 percent), with a decrease of more than 43 percent since 2015 (0.023 percent). Positivity for cocaine in 2018 declined nearly 10 percent compared with 2017 (0.28 percent in 2018 vs. 0.31 percent in 2017), when the positivity rate was the highest in more than five years.

    Click here to view an interactive map with positivity rates and trend lines by three-digit zip code in the United States.



  • 05/07/2019 1:33 PM | David Evener (Administrator)

    (WESTERVILLE, OH — March 25, 2019) The National Ground Water Association (NGWA), drawing on federal and state weather and emergency information, estimates that more than 300 counties in the Midwest have wells potentially impacted by late winter flooding. While the exact number of wells possibly affected by contaminated floodwater cannot be readily counted, Census Bureau data show over one million wells in these counties. This well estimate includes counties flooded in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota,  Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin during the March 2019 winter storm.
    The National Ground Water Association Reports Thousands of Wells Potentially Affected by Midwestern Flooding

    The Association says the number of wells potentially impacted could be substantial because a large portion of the Midwest affected relies on groundwater for rural and small municipal water supply. Household, farm, and small business wells situated in broad, sand and gravel valleys and glaciated rolling countryside could be standing in water for several days, raising the potential for contamination if the wells aren’t properly maintained. Exposure to E. coli, coliform, and other pathogenic microbes from human and animal fecal matter in floodwaters is a common health concern following a major flooding event. Floodwater can also carry other contaminants.  

    “Although the ground is frozen in March in most of this vast, productive agricultural region, wells can still be vulnerable,” said Chuck Job, NGWA regulatory affairs manager, who compiled this data. “Even slight flooding around a well can potentially carry contaminated water to the wellhead, and if the wellhead is cracked or faulty in any way, the well and water system could be compromised.”

    Dr. Bill Alley, NGWA science director, also notes as temperatures rise, well owners should continue to monitor and test their systems. 

    “While frozen ground may not be saturated from storm water, warmer weather may allow flood waters to infiltrate and contaminate subsurface water during a thaw,” Alley said.

    By comparison, NGWA estimated more than 730,000 wells were potentially affected by the Atlantic hurricane season in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Alabama.

    Following a flood, disinfection and wellhead repair may be common needs among well owners. Well relocation and elevation may also be useful and protective. As always, NGWA recommends water well system professionals be used to assess and service wells.

    NGWA has a flooding resource center on its website. Included is information on how to protect well systems before and after a flooding event.

    NGWA also has other resources contractors may find helpful in dealing with flooded water wells including the best suggested practice Residential Water Well Disinfection Following a Flood Event: Procedures for Water Well System Professionals and a Water Well Journal® article titled “Responding to Flooded Wells” at WellOwner.org/hurricane-resources.

    *1990 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Population and Housing (including wells — last census of wells in all counties)

    National Weather Service, Hazardous Weather Outlook (for individual states and regions), and State Emergency Management Information on state websites

    The National Ground Water Association is a not-for-profit professional society and trade association for the global groundwater industry. Our members around the world include leading public and private sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well system professionals, manufacturers, and suppliers of groundwater-related products and services. The Association’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association advocating for responsible development, management, and use of water.

  • 05/07/2019 1:30 PM | David Evener (Administrator)
    Interested to see possible contamination sites in your area? Click here to be directed to the interactive map provided by the Environmental Working Group.
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