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Private Ground Water Wells

Many people in the United States receive their water from private ground water wells. EPA regulations that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to privately owned wells. As a result, owners of private wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. Here you may find information on the basics of wells, proper methods of siting and location for wells, all about testing and how often to test a well, proper treatment of wells and maintenance of wells , information on well retirement, common diseases and contaminants associated with wells, emergency treatment of wells, and answers to frequently asked questions about wells.


Ground Water and Wells


When rain falls, much of it is absorbed into the ground. Water that’s not used by plants moves downward through pores and spaces in the rock until it reaches a dense layer of rock. The water trapped below the ground in the pores and spaces above the dense rock barrier is called ground water, and this is the water we get when we drill wells. Another common term for ground water is "aquifer" or "ground water aquifer."

  • Over 15 million U.S. households regularly depend on private ground water wells (1).
  • All private wells use ground water.

Figure detailing ground water in relation to the environment (trees, land, water surface, etc.)

Figure courtesy of USGS  [View larger image]


Private Ground Water Well Fast Facts


  1. U.S. Census Bureau. Current Housing Reports, Series H150/07, American Housing Survey for the United States: 2007, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.: 20401, Printed in 2008. Available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/h150-07.pdf [PDF - 6.82 mb].

 
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