Free test protects private drinking water

The Headwaters Resource & Conservation Development Council based out of DuBois is still accepting applications from Elk County residents to receive free private drinking water supply tests.The Headwaters Quality Drinking Water Project is designed to provide low income families in Jefferson, Elk, Potter, Cameron, Clinton, Centre and McKean Counties with funding to secure chain of custody water sample analyses of their private water supplies prior to Marcellus Shale gas drilling activities.The project was made available from a $150,000 grant secured through the Colcom Foundation's grant program the "Marcellus Environmental Fund."With the water sampling dates approaching, Elk County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine said they are getting down to the "nitty gritty."According to Bonfardine, the Conservation District has received 63 out of 100 possible applications."We still have applications at the office here, but this will probably be about the last public notice that we will give," Bonfardine said during Monday night's Elk County Conservation District meeting.Bonfardine suggested that if they do not receive the 100 applications, she will look into submitting applications for all of the springs in Elk County that residents use for drinking water."I get my water out by Big Mill Creek at a spring all the time," Bonfardine said. "I don't drink the water out of the tap. I get the spring water and I know a lot of people get their water from springs in Elk County."Pick up a copy of the Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.