Valley residents learn how to be water sentinels - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley residents learn how to be water sentinels

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BEAVER TOWNSHIP, Ohio- An environmental organization is teaching Valley residents how to be water sentinels as the shale boom makes its way to the area and fracking occurs on more properties.

About 20 people attended an event at the old South Range High School in Beaver Township to learn how to use free water monitors after viewing the movie "Gasland."

Matt Trokan with Sierra Club Ohio said, "They're like a thermometer. They'll tell you if your water is sick, but they won't tell you what your water has."

The monitor indicates whether your water has changed after the fracking process, and if you need to get it professionally tested.

"We encourage them to keep a personal water monitoring journal where they record the results of their drinking water," Trokan said. "And then also the data is entered online and we collect from all the water sentinels in Ohio and we analyze that data and we can kind of get a trend for the general water quality in the region."

The monitor looks for three things; how well the water conducts electricity and the amounts of total dissolve solids and salts.

Trokan said getting this data from residents demonstrates the power of citizen science.

"One result is just a snapshot in time and water quality is always changing. But by having so many people in a long-term strategy, we can really get a better picture of what the water quality is," Trokan said.

The Sierra Club will eventually teach its water sentinels how to collect water samples for further testing by a lab.

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