We have the results of a recent survey commissioned by the National Ground Water Association.

People who drink ground water supplied by private water wells have confidence in their water supply and think consumers should be permitted to choose their drinking water supply system, according to the results of a recent survey commissioned by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). The national survey was conducted late last year in support of the NGWA-sponsored annual Ground Water Awareness Week, to be held March 17-23.

In response to the survey, 78 percent of water well owners said they prefer receiving their drinking water from their own well to getting their water from a utility (6%) or using bottled water (16%).

The survey by Market Facts Inc. also showed:

    80 percent of those getting their drinking water from water wells feel their water is as safe as it should be, a rate significantly higher than the general population surveyed (63%).

    89 percent of all survey respondents said they think consumers should have a choice in which type of drinking water delivery system they use.

    88 percent of well owners indicate that water from their own water well is their least expensive drinking water option.

The results of the survey reveal that most people drinking water from their own wells have trust in their water supply. "Ground water is a crucial resource, in part because of its role as a reliable source of drinking water," says Kevin McCray, NGWA's executive director, noting that 23 million Americans are served by private, individual water wells. "Consumers who get their drinking water from a private well have control over their water supply and its security. Through consultation with ground water contractors for regular maintenance checkups, including annual water tests, water well owners can help ensure the quality of their drinking water."

The survey also indicates that consumer thinking is in line with NGWA-endorsed legislation, H.R. 937, a bill that would help ensure that consumers have a choice in drinking water sources. Introduced by Congressman Richard Pombo (R-California), this legislation would prohibit the use of federal funds by any program that restricts the use of privately owned water sources. In some localities across the country, private well owners are being required to connect to public water supply systems even when a safe household water source is already available.

NGWA sponsored the survey and sponsors Ground Water Awareness Week in an effort to inform the public about the key role ground water and ground water professionals play in their lives.