Safe WATCH: Safe Water for Community Health Infographic
Safe WATCH: Safe Water for Community Health
Safer Well Water through Stronger Public Health Programs
Learn how CDC works with health departments to protect communities from unsafe well water.
- About 1 in 8 Americans get their drinking water from a private well.
- Germs, chemicals, or radionuclides can impact wells and other private drinking water sources.
- About 1 in 5 sampled private wells had at least one contaminant at levels that could affect health.
Making Programs Stronger
Safe WATCH works with well water programs at health departments to help them improve their services, like
- Investigating common contaminants that can affect health.
- Educating well owners about testing their water and interpreting test results.
- Linking homeowners with services, treatment systems, and other resources to make their water safer.
- Partnering with labs, well drillers, universities, and others.
Safe WATCH Grantees Improve Services
CDC Safe WATCH helps health departments strengthen and improve their programs by
- Identifying gaps in their program using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
- Taking actions to close gaps and reduce exposures to contaminants.
To address gaps in the Assure Competent Workforce essential service, LaCrosse County (WI)
- Collected ~3,000 water samples.
- Certified staff to test for arsenic and lead using new lab testing equipment.
To address gaps in the Monitor Health essential service, Gaston County (NC)
- Digitized ~8,000 well permits.
- Geocoded 97% of their well permits using new equipment.
To address gaps in the Inform, Educate, and Empower essential service, Madison County (NY)
- Conducted >200 well assessments and found ~40% of wells had bacterial contamination.
- Educated owners about test results, risks, and how to protect their water.
To address gaps in the Develop Policies essential service, New Mexico
- Created a policy for tagging and tracking newly constructed wells.
- Purchased and marketed ~3,000 tags for voluntary tagging of pre-existing wells.
Learn more: www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/safe-watch.