Where to Find Out About Local Well Water Contamination
TALK with LOCAL WELL EXPERTS - CONTENTS: Whom to ask about local well water contaminants - how to know what to test for in a well; Sources of local ground water pollution of drinking water & wells; Local Health concerns about water pollution; Levels of risk due to local well water contaminants
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How to track down the source(s) of well water contamination.
Where to go to find out about possible local sources of well water contamination.
This article explains how to find and consult with local well experts who can help not only track down local well contaminant sources but who are most likely to know which contaminants have been found in the area and thus can suggest which water contamination tests are most useful.
Talk With Local Experts [About Local Sources of Well Water Contamination]
Good sources of information and advice can be found close to home. The list below tells about some "local experts":
The local health department's registered "sanitarian" is a health specialist. He or she likely knows the most about any problems with private wells.
Local water-well contractors can tell you about well drilling and construction. They are also familiar with local geology and water conditions. Look in the yellow pages of your phone book or contact the agency in your state that licenses water well contractors. Call the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) at (614) 898-7791 or (800) 551- 7379 to find NGWA-certified water-well contractors in your area.
Officials at the nearest public water system may explain any threats to local drinking water and may be developing plans to address potential threats. They may advise you on taking samples and understanding tests done on your water. Ask the local health department or look in your phone book for the name and address of the closest system.
Local county extension agents will know about local farming and forestry activities that can affect your water. They may also have information about water testing.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) replaced the old U.S. Soil Conservation Service. It is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NRCS and the U.S. Geological Survey have information about local soils and ground water. They can tell you where a local water supply is located and how it is recharged or replenished. They would know of any pollution threats and if radon is a problem in the area. Look for both in the blue pages of your local phone book.
Local or county planning commissions can be good sources. They know about past and present land uses in your area that affect water.
Your public library may also have records and maps that can provide useful information. Nearby colleges and universities have research arms that can provide facts and expertise. They may also have a testing lab.
[Call local water testing labs, your nearest county or provinicial health department, and home inspectors in your local area - these sources very often know about local pollutants. Talk to your neighbors - sometimes they know of very local problems or "events" that have contaminated nearby wells. --DF]
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