Private Well Owner Tip Sheet

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 or each resource can be linked to separately.

Water Testing

Three common questions well owners have regarding water testing are:

  • "What do I test for?"
  • "How do I get a water test?"
  • "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.

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, 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 view 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. Access NGWA's Contractor Lookup service, which lists NGWA-member and NGWA-certified water well system professionals.

Other times well owners want to know if some aspect of their well system is up to code.

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 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 Well Assessments

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 with the well owner name, email address, and telephone number along with the well location.

Get Free Well Owner App Today

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.

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