Volume 45 Number 12
Website of the Month: Drilling the Importance of Groundwater Home -- Setting Our Sites High As We Go Underground
I found myself thinking about groundwater the other day as I entered my local Home Depot. As has become my summer ritual, I am bombarded every week or so with fresh weeds growing up through my gravel-rock landscape. So to combat this, I was introduced by a friend to a product called Triox from Ortho. Triox is an all-vegetation killer. Perfect, I thought. Low maintenance, just add water, spray and voilà! But this last time, I went to the familiar spot in the big-box retailer, past the water filters, and headed straight for my trusty Triox. Except it was no longer offered by Home Depot, or anyone else as far as I know. The reason: Triox was evidently nixed in favor of another weed killer, Groundclear. I was told by a helpful Kmart employee (I never thought I would use those three words together) that Triox contained a certain chemical that was “working too well” and some of it was reportedly seeping into some groundwater supplies. This rather long anecdote brings us to the following website review.
Since this review is dedicated to groundwater, perhaps the best place to start and end is the Search. After typing in “groundwater,” I’m supplied with 111 matches. I click on the first listed, “Determining Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water.” A printed report is offered to subscribers while non-subscribers (a la me) are given an overview of the report. This is useful since the objective as well as results are discussed. As an additional plus, each keyword (those entered initially in the search box) is highlighted throughout the review for quick reference.
Groundwater Basics provides a bevy of quick facts and general information about groundwater. For instance, we are told that “more than two million cubic miles of fresh water is stored in the earth, and half of that is within a half mile of the surface” and “Fifty-one percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater daily for drinking.” Some of the more interesting links answer queries such as “What is Groundwater?” “Contamination and Concerns,” “Wells and How They Work,” “Groundwater ABCs” (glossary of terms), and a workshop guide and training materials.
Meanwhile, Groundwater Guardian is the site’s attempt to encourage grass-roots efforts among communities concerned with their groundwater. In fact, a list of communities, affiliates and national partners are available through various links. In short, the Guardian program works this way: It encourages communities to begin groundwater awareness and protection activities, supports the communities in their efforts, and recognizes their achievements. This international program (United States and Canada) began in 1994 with eight test-year communities.
First, a little background on the association, according to the site: The Well Drillers Association was formed 65 years ago and “acts as a forum for interested parties in the design and construction of water wells and boreholes. Membership consists of companies and individuals engaged in well construction, test pumping, maintenance and rehabilitation. A number of its members also act as distributors for well-related equipment including pumps.”
Aside from About Us, other main buttons include Standards, Members and Links. There are four sections to Standards—contract arrangements, general, specifications and water resources legislation. These refer to the standards that can be applied to the construction and installation of water supply boreholes in the UK. Exactly 20 members are located under the Members button. Each listing comes with a contact name along with links to the company’s email address and website.
Links are divided into three groups: general information sites, regional water supply companies and international sites. Without listing all, some more pertinent ones are UK Groundwater Forum ((www.nwl.ac.ukgwf/), Groundwater Images (www. nwl.ac.uk/gwf/gwfimg1. htm), Severn Trent Water (temporarily unavailable), The Water Page (www.the waterpage.com) and U.S. Water News (www. uswaternews.com).
EXTRA: The Subterraneans
* American Ground Water Trust (www.agwt.org)
* Australian Drilling Industry Association (www.adia.com)
* Instrumentation Testing Association (www.instrument.org)
* National Driller (www.drillersonline.com)
* National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (www.nesc.wvu.edu)