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Helping well owners overcome obstacles
No one likes barriers, including well owners. The harder something is to understand or execute, the less likely a well owner is to act. This is true of water testing, well maintenance, and groundwater protection.Here are some ways to simplify the process of water well stewardship. The following resources are accessible through the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) website, WellOwner.org—or each resource can be linked to separately.
Water testing: Three common questions well owners have regarding water testing are: (1) “What do I test for?” (2) “How do I get a water test?” and (3) “How do I interpret my test results?”
NGWA recommends that well owners test annually for bacteria, nitrate, and anything of local concern. Regarding contaminants of local concern, NGWA suggests that well owners start by contacting their local health department about what of local concern is worth testing. Well owners can find their local health department by clicking here.
To arrange a water testing, NGWA recommends that well owners first ask their local health department what water tests it offers. For anything else, or as an alternative, click here to find out about certified drinking water testing labs in your state.
Some drinking water testing labs provide a clear interpretation of water results, but others provide test data without much explanation. NGWA recommends well owners ask their lab or local health department to interpret test results. You also can click here for one of several available online water test interpretation tools.
For simple guidance on water testing, well owners can click here to access NGWA’s Well Owner smartphone app and its web version of the app.
Well maintenance: Many well owners have no idea what regular well maintenance should be done. For simple guidance on well maintenance, well owners can access NGWA’s Well Owner smartphone app and its web version of the app (see the following story).
Another obstacle for some well owners is where to start in finding a water well system professional to conduct maintenance on their well. Click here to access NGWA's Contractor Lookup service, which lists NGWA-member and NGWA-certified water well system professionals. Click here to find the person in your state who oversees water well contractor licensing.
Other times well owners want to know if some aspect of their well system is up to code. Click here to obtain contact information for person who oversees well construction standards in your state.
Groundwater protection: Many well owners do not understand good groundwater protection practices. For simple guidance on groundwater protection, click here to access NGWA’s Well Owner smartphone app and/or its web version of the app. Also, you can click here to access places where hazardous household substances can be disposed of or recycled.
Free well owner's manuals available
The Water Systems Council has produced a 32-page Well Owner's Manual in hard copy and electronic form. It includes sections on water well systems, well maintenance, selecting a well contractor, protecting your wellhead, water well testing, and understanding water test results.
Copies are available from:
• The Water Systems Council via email or online.
Apply for free water
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is seeking additional private well owners to receive an in-person water well assessment completed at the well using a new assessment tool.
The assessment tool will help a well owner understand the potential risks and vulnerabilities that might impact the drinking water. It considers site conditions, geology, land use practices, well construction, and maintenance. RCAP will not be opening the well or sampling from the tap.
To nominate your well for an assessment, please send an email to Steve Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org with the well owner name, email address, and telephone number along with the well location.
Get free well owner
Get a free well owner app today! Receive important information at your fingertips about water well maintenance, water quality, and groundwater protection.
• Download the app from Google or from Apple
• The corresponding website can be accessed here.
Well owner videos
Watch new well owner videos on well inspections, well cleaning, well disinfection, well decommissioning, lead in drinking water, and water treatment