A recent USGS study stresses the importance of Source Water Protection. Consider the findings reported in the study:

More than 20% of private domestic wells sampled nationwide contain at least one contaminant at levels of potential health concern.

Nitrate, an inorganic contaminant derived from man-made sources such as fertilizers and septic tanks was found in about 4% (84) wells sampled.

Bacteria including E-Coli were found in as many as one third of a subset of 400 wells sampled.

About half of the wells deemed to have potential health concerns had concentrations of contaminants greater than the Maximum Contaminant Levels specified by the Safe Drinking Water Act for public water supplies.

What can be done? Support the Watershed Committee’s efforts to protect the source waters supplying the Springfield/Greene County area. The USGS suggests that “greater attention to the quality of drinking water from private wells and continued public education  are important steps toward the goal of protecting public health”. Private well owners are responsible for testing the quality of their well water and treating it if necessary. To determine what might be of local concern, well owners should ask state or local authorities involved in public health or well construction. To find a qualified drinking water testing lab, well owners should contact their state or local health department, or check the “Water Quality” section fo NGWA’s website (www.wellowner.org). If local labs do not test for substances a well owner wants to check, national water testing labes may be able to help-National Testing labs (www.ntllabs.com) and Underwriters Laboratories (www.ul.com).

For more information on sampling your well, contact your local Health Department, or see the “How to Protect Your Well” brochure on the Watershed Committee’s Publications page, or check out the following USGS link: www.usgs.gov and http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/studies/domestic_wells/