Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Private Well Owner Outreach Programs

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About 13.1 million households rely on domestic wells as their source of drinking water. Unlike community water systems, which are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, there is no comprehensive national program to ensure that the water is tested and safe to drink.

In 2014, the CDC collaborated with the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) to collect data from private well educational outreach program managers to gain a better understanding of existing programs and their gaps and barriers.

NGWA interviewed 30 state and local well owner outreach program managers about program descriptions, program assessments, and program manager expert opinions.

Most program managers believed they were only reaching a small percentage of the total private well owners in their target areas. Program managers offered innovative approaches to overcoming the barriers of insufficient funding, personnel, and/or expertise to reach and affect behavior changes among well owner populations in their target areas.

These findings can be used by CDC and state/local environmental health staff to develop practical guidance and tools for current and future well owner outreach programs to improve effectiveness in motivating well owners to protect their water.

Page last reviewed: April 1, 2016