National Groundwater Awareness week is observed March 6-12, 2016.

Are you one of the 13 million Americans living with a private well? It is important to protect yourself and your family from harmful bacteria and chemicals that may enter your well water. It is important to have you well water tested because, water wells are not subject to EPA regulations. This means the only way of knowing if your water well is contaminated is to get it tested.

Different ways that your well can become contaminated are: incorrect use of fertilizers and pesticides, poorly constructed, poorly maintained septic systems, improper disposal or storage of wastes, chemical spills, ect.

According to the CDC, . From 1971 to 2006, 54% of reported drinking water outbreaks were due to the use of untreated ground water (31%) or ground water treatment deficiencies (23%). The most common pathogens identified in ground water outbreaks during this period included Shigella spp., hepatitis A virus, norovirus, Giardia intestinalis, Campylobacter spp, and Salmonella spp.5 In 2009-2010, contamination of groundwater with parasites (Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium sp.), bacteria (Campylobacter jejuni,Escherichia coli O157:H7), and viruses (Norovirus, Hepatitis A) led to a number of reported outbreaks.

Visit the “Homeowners” tab on our website to get the “Request Water Analysis” form and send it to the Hancock County Health Department to have your water well tested! The Health Department currently only tests for E.Coli and Coliforms in well water. If you want your well water tested for chemicals, it has to be done through a private company.