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Conducting a Drinking Water Clinic. Erin James Virginia Master Well Owner Network Training October 29-30, 2008 Harrisonburg Virginia. Overview. Planning for and conducting a clinic Reporting outcomes and impacts Agent evaluation form Follow-up survey of clinic participants

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Conducting a Drinking Water Clinic

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Conducting a Drinking Water Clinic

Erin James

Virginia Master Well Owner Network Training

October 29-30, 2008

Harrisonburg Virginia


  • Planning for and conducting a clinic

  • Reporting outcomes and impacts

    • Agent evaluation form

    • Follow-up survey of clinic participants

  • Working with volunteers

  • The VAHWQP website and how to use it



The DWC Agent Packet

  • Available at or from EJ

    • Information for VAMWON agents

    • USERNAME: hosting.vamwon

    • PASSWORD: wellspring

  • Includes

    • Information about planning

    • Templates for advertising

    • Registration list

    • Details so you can answer participant questions

    • Evaluation form

Basic Program

  • Kickoff Meeting

  • Sample Collection

  • Sample Analysis

  • Interpretation Meeting


  • 8+ weeks

  • Consider:

    • Newspapers

    • Fliers

    • Letter to homeowners

    • Radio

    • Home/Ag Shows/Fairs

  • Seek donations or sponsors

  • At this time, contact others to participate:

    • VDH Env Health Spec

    • Local SWCD, NRCS, USGS

Prep for Kickoff Mtg

  • Pre-registration

  • Notify coordinator of anticipated # participants

  • Sample kits prepared at BSE water quality lab:

    • Two sample bottles

    • Questionnaire

    • Sampling instructions

  • Sample kits and coolers shipped to you 2 weeks prior

  • Powerpoint presentations, notes and talking points provided

Kickoff Meeting

  • Brief presentation covering:

    • Common water quality problems in the area

    • Results/turnout from past drinking water clinics

    • HOW to collect a drinking water sample

    • WHEN to collect the sample and drop it off

    • WHERE to drop the sample off

  • Consider handing out fliers with sample collection day, time and location

  • Distribute sample kits and collect payment

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will analysis include?

    • pH, hardness, chloride, fluoride, sodium, sulfate, nitrate, iron, manganese, corrosivity, copper, TDS, total coliform bacteria, E. coli bacteria

  • How many participants per clinic?

    • Our incubator for bacteriological analysis can hold 350 samples

  • How much does it cost?

    • $46. The same analysis a private commercial lab: $150-200. Priceless!

    • Assistance for low-income folks is available through our grant.

  • How does payment/billing work?

    • You collect payment from participants at the Kickoff meeting

    • WQ lab will bill you for entire amount. Pay with an Interdepartmental Service Request (ISR) to be assured the internal rate.

Interdepartmental Service Request

  • BSE Water Quality Lab is a cost-recovery center

    • Internal vs. External rates

  • All county offices should have an operating fund code, which is used to set up an ISR, if you don’t already have one.

  • Questions?


    Beth Ebel


Sample Collection - Them

  • Instructions

    • Stress instructions must be followed carefully or results are not accurate

  • “Raw” vs. “Tap” / before vs. after treatment

  • Extra samples are an additional $46.

  • DAY and TIME sample is collected are very important – bacteriological analysis must be done within 24 hours of collection

Sample Collection - You

  • ICE!

  • Collection day

    • Recommend ~7 am – 11 am collection

    • All sample bottles are numbered. Same number on the questionnaire. Check match before putting bottles in ZIPLOCK bag, THEN cooler. Ice samples immediately.

    • Collect all questionnaires in envelope

    • Drive halfway between Blacksburg and your county to predetermined location to transfer coolers to Water Quality Lab staff

Sample Analysis

  • Us (BSE Water Quality Folks)

    • All samples analyzed for 14 constituents

    • Reports compiled and printed

    • Measures to protect confidentiality – IRB approval

    • Takes a total of 4-6 weeks

  • You (Agents)

    • Consider reminding participants of Interpretation Meeting day, time and location

      • Email

      • Flier/postcard (template in agent packet)

Interpretation Meeting

  • BSE folks travel to your county

    • Distribute results to participants

    • Power Point presentation

      • Overview of results as a group

      • Discuss what the numbers mean, compare to public standards

      • Address eliminating possible sources of contamination

      • Introduce treatment options

    • Answer questions

  • Consider inviting VDH, NRCS, SWCD

Evaluation and Follow-up

  • Lead agent feedback form

    • Available online at

    • Please complete and return to Erin

  • Statewide impact statement template

  • Follow-up postcard for clinic participants:

    • Will you test water more regularly?

    • Will you change your behavior?

    • Will you talk to others about your experience?

Working with volunteers

  • Plan to train 100 volunteers in 2009; 240 total

  • Application and screening process

    • Interest; have well, spring or cistern

    • Not affiliated with a water business

  • Volunteer expectations and policy

    • Attend one-day training; minimum of 70% on post-test

    • Unpaid, volunteer work only

    • General educational advice – no specifics!

    • Willingness to try to educate 100 people

VAMWON Responsibilities

  • VAMWON Agents

    • Conduct county-based drinking water clinics

    • Educate local private water system owners

  • VAMWON Volunteers can:

    • Assist VAMWON agents with drinking water clinics

    • Make presentations to church, service, and civic organizations

    • Staff information booths at fairs, clinics, ag and home shows

    • Maintain own water system as a good practices demonstration site

    • Contribute to VAHWQP newsletter and website

    • Share innovative education delivery methods with other agents and volunteers

    • Assist with evaluating program impacts

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