Professors Brian Okey of Geography and Regional Planning and Nathan McElroy of Chemistry and their students will return to Beaver Run Reservoir for the third straight year to make sure its water is clean.
The newest contract between IUP and the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is worth $100,000, making this the largest contract between the two in the last three years. The Beaver Run Reservoir Water Quality Testing Project will continue to sample and monitor drinking water quality near Marcellus shale well pad sites.
“Authority members wanted to engage an independent third party to conduct water sampling,” Okey said. “We were able to formulate a very comprehensive services proposal that successfully addressed the need of the municipal authority to be vigilant about monitoring and protecting the water source.
The initial contract for the testing in 2011 was for $55,000, and the 2012 contract was for $75,000, reflecting the demands of an expanded testing area. Funds are also being used to purchase new equipment for the testing project.
Okey and McElroy noted that the project offers a valuable opportunity for the students, providing real-life experiences outside the classroom and a chance for students from different majors to work together.
“I do believe that we will be working with them for the foreseeable future,” Okey added. “There’s always a need to test the reservoir.”
Beaver Run Reservoir holds 11 billion gallons of water and serves as a source of drinking water for about 130,000 people.
Learn more about the project and see the results of the tests.
Department of Geography and Regional Planning
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