It's Time to Test Your Well Water
Groundwater Awareness Week is March 10-16
To kick off Groundwater Awareness Week, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) urges everyone to test the well water they drink.
If you have a private well supplying water to your home, testing is up to you, according to Sarah Pillsbury, Administrator of NHDES's Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau. "Approximately 60 percent of New Hampshire residents are supplied by community water systems at home. Those customers can check the annual Consumer Confidence Report provided by their water supplier to find out what's in the water they drink. But for the 40 percent of New Hampshire residents who rely on private wells, there are no statewide testing requirements," she explains. "So testing is entirely up to the homeowner." Only a few towns require private well testing, and that is typically only in conjunction with obtaining a certificate of occupancy for a new home.
"Because of our geology and sometimes due to past releases of contaminants, it's very common to have unhealthy levels of contaminants in water from private wells. We recommend that private well users have the water tested every few years. Only with the right testing can you make an informed decision about whether you should install a water treatment system, and which type." NHDES recommends that well owners have their water tested at an accredited private lab or at the state lab.
For more information on NHDES's testing recommendations and a list of accredited labs, please visit www.des.nh.gov and select private well testing from the A to Z list, or call the NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau at (603) 271-2513.
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