Notice to Readers: Ground Water Awareness Week, March 11--17, 2007
Approximately 40%--45% of the U.S. population depends on ground water for its drinking water supply
(1--3). Each year, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) sponsors Ground Water Awareness Week to highlight ground
water as a valuable resource and to emphasize the importance of private well maintenance and water testing
Ground water quality can be affected by local land uses, geologic factors, and integrity of water wells. Possible
contaminants include disease-causing microorganisms, natural contaminants, and manufactured pollutants. Thirty
waterborne-disease outbreaks affecting approximately 2,760 persons were reported to CDC during 2003--2004; seven outbreaks (23%)
were associated with improperly treated or untreated ground water, two of which involved private wells
Private domestic wells are not regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and private well owners
are responsible for ensuring the water is safe. Routine annual well-maintenance checks by a qualified water-well systems
contractor are recommended to help prevent water-quality problems. Routine annual water testing for coliform bacteria, nitrates
and nitrites, and any contaminants of local concern also is recommended. NGWA suggests that water testing also might
be considered if 1) a change in the taste, odor, or
appearance of the well water occurs or if well repairs are
required; 2) family members or houseguests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness; 3) an infant is living in the home; 4) a
person would like to monitor the efficiency and performance of home water-treatment equipment; or
5) a person is buying a home and would like to assess the safety and quality of the existing water supply
Additional information regarding well maintenance, water testing, and National Ground Water Awareness Week is
available at http://www.wellowner.org and
- US Census Bureau. Annual estimates of the population for the United States, regions, and states and for Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1,
2006 (NST-EST2006-01). Available at
- US Environmental Protection Agency. Private drinking water wells. Available at
- US Environmental Protection Agency. Public drinking water systems: facts and figures. Available at
- National Ground Water Association. National Ground Water Awareness Week: March 11--17, 2007. Available at
- CDC. Surveillance for waterborne disease and outbreaks associated with drinking water and water not intended for drinking---United States,
2003--2004. MMWR 2006;55(No. SS-12).
- National Ground Water Association. Bacteria:
what do you want to know? Available at
- National Ground Water Association. Schedule your annual water well checkup. Available at
- US Environmental Protection Agency. Private drinking water wells: what you can do. Available at
- US Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water from household wells. Available at
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are
provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply
endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content
of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of
the date of publication.
All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text
into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version.
Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or
the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables.
An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800.
Contact GPO for current prices.
**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to
Date last reviewed: 3/8/2007