Groundwater Awareness Week
Ground Water Awareness Week is an annual observance sponsored by the National Ground Water Association. This week brings attention to the importance of ground water as a valuable resource. The observance also stresses the need for yearly water testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illness.
Ground water is water that is located below the surface of the earth in spaces between rock and soil. Seventy-seven percent of community water systems in the United States use ground water as their primary source, supplying drinking water to 30% of community water system users, or almost 90 million Americans 1. An additional 16 million U.S. households get their water from private ground water wells 2.
Most of the time, ground water sources in the United States are safe to use and not a cause for worry. However, ground water sources can become contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals that can lead to sickness and disease 3.
From 1971 to 2006, 54% of reported drinking water outbreaks were due to the use of untreated ground water (31%) or ground water treatment deficiencies (23%) 4. The presence of pathogens and chemicals in our drinking water can lead to health problems, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders 5.
Visit the links below to learn more about ground water and Ground Water Awareness Week.
Dates of Celebration and Additional Resources
March 10-16, 2013
March 11-17, 2012
March 6-12, 2011
March 7-13, 2010
March 8-14, 2009
- Healthy Water Features - Groundwater Awareness Week
- Podcast - Private Wells Require Private Eyes (3:58)
- MMWR: Notice to Readers: Ground Water Awareness Week 2009
March 9-15, 2008
- CDC Features - Groundwater Awareness Week
- Podcast - Groundwater Awareness (4:15)
- MMWR: Notice to Readers: Ground Water Awareness Week 2008
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ground Water and Drinking Water. Updated December 2012.
- U.S. Census Bureau. Current Housing Reports, Series H150/09, American Housing Survey for the United States: 2009. [PDF - 175 pages] U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC: 20401, Printed in 2011.
- Brunkard J, Ailes E, Roberts V, Hill V, Hilborn E, Craun G, Rajasingham A, Kahler A, Garrison L, Hicks L, Carpenter J, Wade T, Beach M, Yoder J. Surveillance for waterborne disease outbreaks associated with drinking water—United States, 2007–2008. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011 Sep 23;60(12):38-68.
- Craun GF, Brunkard JM, Yoder JS, Roberts VA, Carpenter J, Wade T, Calderon RL, Roberts JM, Beach MJ, Roy SL. Causes of outbreaks associated with drinking water in the United States from 1971 to 2006. Clin Microbiol Rev 2010;23:507-28.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking Water Contaminants. Updated June 2012.