Washington County, PA

Project team members collect water samples from our partner family to test for the presence of bacteria.

About Washington County

Families across Washington County have reported issues with contaminated well drinking water. The specific cause of contamination is unknown, but community members suspect that coal mining, which was once prevalent in the area, and hydraulic fracturing, which is currently widespread in Washington County, could be the sources of contamination. The University of Pittsburgh Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is partnering with the Pittsburgh Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders to help families in the Washington County area find and install household filtration systems for their water. The EWB partnership plans to assist as many families in the area as possible to find water filtration solutions.

Our Partnership

The University of Pittsburgh Student Chapter of EWB along with the Pittsburgh Professional chapter of EWB have partnered with the Latkanich family in Washington County whose drinking water has been suspected to be contaminated for over a decade. The family connected with the Professional Chapter in September of 2021. In November of 2021, a group of project team members traveled to the family's home to conduct water testing and collect water samples. Multiple water tests have yielded inconclusive results; while the team believes that the contamination comes from the well, the source of potential contamination is unclear. Moving forward, the team is working with the Latkanich family to move it onto city water, which would provide clean water for its house.

Members test the pH of water samples collected from our partner family's home.