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Nearly half our nation's population receives all or part of its drinking water from the ground, yet for most people ground water remains a bit of a mystery.  This lack of knowledge can be a problem, particularly for the owners of private household wells, who bear responsibility for maintaining their own water quality.


To help address this issue, National Ground Water Association (NGWA) sponsors National Ground Water Awareness Week, which is scheduled for March 11-17, 2007.


Four themes will be emphasized during Awareness Week:

Ground water protection

Ground water conservation

Well maintenance

Water testing


For well owners, water quality problems can be caused by new sources of biological or chemical contamination, but not always.  Sometimes a well or septic system in need of repair contribute to contamination of one's well water supply.


That is why NGWA recommends an annual water well check-up.  An annual well inspection can often catch problems before they affect water quality.  NGWA provides an inspection check-list in the Awareness Week section of its web site.  It includes:


A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.).

An inspection of well equipment to assure that it is sanitary and meets local code requirements.

A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern.

A concise, clear, written report delivered to you following the checkup that explains results and recommendations, and includes all laboratory and other test results.


Well owners also should know that proper storage of hazardous materials such as chemicals, fertilizers and oil can be important to protecting their water supply.  Animal waste also can be a threat to water quality if too close to the well head.


And well owners also are encouraged to use water wisely.  There is no shortage of ground water nationally, but demand on a local or regional basis can create water scarcity.  It only makes sense not to waste water.


Fix leaky toilets or faucets to save thousands of gallons of water a year.

Use water-efficient appliances.

Use low-flow shower heads and water-efficient toilets.

Avoid wasting water on the driveway, sidewalk or street when watering outside.

Run the dishwasher only when it's full.

Consider other ways to recycle or conserve water.


To learn more about these issues and National Ground Water Awareness Week, go to


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18 Nov 2013



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