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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News State DENR Promotes Safer Rural Drinking Water Through The Private Well Water Education Act

DENR Promotes Safer Rural Drinking Water Through The Private Well Water Education Act

RALEIGH, N.C. : March 21, 2013 - Through the introduction Wednesday of the Private Well Water Education Act (H.B. 396), Secretary John Skvarla of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources continues to emphasize the importance of North Carolina’s citizens testing their drinking water wells.
State representatives Rick Catlin, Tim Moffitt, Chris Millis, and Mark Hollo introduced the bill at Skvarla’s request.
“This legislation will provide a framework for local health departments to use to help citizens test their private wells,” Skvarla said. “We have federal and state rules governing public water systems and the testing data they must provide to their customers, but many North Carolinians get their water from their own wells and don’t know how or when to test them. This bill will establish testing procedures and help county health departments educate well owners on the importance of testing annually for bacteria and every several years for other contaminants.”
The bill directs the Commission for Public Health to adopt rules governing the sampling and testing of existing private wells and the reporting of their results. It also requires local health departments to provide information to citizens constructing new drinking water wells on drinking water standards and the availability, scope and limitations of required and optional testing. The Commission for Public Health is authorized and directed by the N.C. General Assembly to adopt rules to protect and promote the health of the public and to adopt rules necessary to implement public health programs administered by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health.
“Nearly one in four North Carolinians get their household water from private wells,” said Skvarla. “In most cases, well water is safe for drinking, bathing, gardening and other uses. However, it is important for well owners to test their well on a regular basis to ensure it is and remains safe to use.”
DENR has been working with statewide news media to educate the public on the issue of private well testing. In addition to regular testing, owners should also consider additional testing if they notice a change in the water’s taste, odor or appearance; find a problem such as a broken well cap or a new contamination source; have a family member who has recurring gastrointestinal illness; have a pregnant woman or infant living in the home; or learn of a contaminant that shows up in a neighbor’s water.
In North Carolina, county health departments and private services provide well water testing. For guidance on testing private wells, go to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ web page, http://bit.ly/14atvmk. A complete list of health department contacts is available at: http://goo.gl/u0awt
Source: NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources.