Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Water quality and quantity

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 5, 2012 8:20 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, November 5:

Susquehanna shining in sunlight 300x170.jpg

Pennsylvania's water quality and quantity are two of the most important environmental issues facing the state. 

With a few exceptions, the state's rivers and streams are much cleaner than they were 40 years ago.  That's because citizens and government took action to stop pollution and clean up the dirty waters that were unsafe and hazardous to humans, wildlife, and fish.

Pennsylvania has also been fortunate when it comes to the amount of clean, usable water available.  That point is hammered home when one witnesses the droughts the Midwest and South have had recently.

That's not to say there aren't challenges or even threats.  Natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale has exploded in Pennsylvania the last few years.  The process to get to the gas called "fracking" includes the use of mass quantities of water.  Some have also questioned whether the chemicals used in fracking are polluting the water too.

On Monday's Radio Smart Talk, Pat Bowling, a hydrologist with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Dr. Christopher Woltemade, a professor at Shippensburg University's Department of Geography/Earth Science, will appear to discuss water in Pennsylvania.

Both Bowling and Woltemade will be on a panel November 8 at Shippensburg University's Memorial Auditorium as part of the South Mountain Speaker Series that will focus on water quality and quantity. 


Pat Bowling and Dr. Christopher Woltemade talk about water well protection in Pennsylvania on Radio Smart Talk.

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-05 09:28

    E-mail from Nicole:

    "Our land is adjacent to corn and soy fields - what type of water filter would be best to safeguard our water from potential pollutants?"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-05 09:42

    E-mail from K.:

    "I just heard a caller asking about testing his water for contaminants. I did research at the Lebanon county refuse authority for an environmental science class at HACC last year and was advised that they provide periodic testing for surrounding property owner wells in the area. The caller may want to contact the governing authority to see if they would offer the same to him."

  • Circe Moss MacDonald img 2012-11-05 09:51

    I am so alarmed by the amount of water used for hydro fracking; the assertions of the gas industry do nothing to convince me of the immeasurable folly of contaminating our water on such a massive scale. Author of 'Raising Elijah', Sandra Steingraber, calls for a complete moratorium on fracking on on moral basis. Can you please discuss the morals of using water for fracking?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-05 10:00

    E-mail from Michael:

    "Please comment on Gray Water.
    The practice of on site sewage users bypassing the septic system with low contaminate water, waste water from the shower and laundry."

  • thinkwrite img 2012-11-05 19:48

    These guys did a great job at resisting getting sucked into a Marcellus shale bashing session.