A recently-released U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study highlights the importance of residential water well testing and maintenance. The study shows the potential for corrosive groundwater in all 50 U.S. states, ranging from low to moderate in 25 states and high to very high in 25 states. 

"Fortunately, in most areas of the country and with appropriate safeguards, the majority of homeowners can get good quality drinking water from private wells," says Stephen Moulton II, chief of the USGS National Water-Quality Program. "But this study is a good reminder that prudent, routine testing of the water, including its interaction with the water supply system, is an essential first step so homeowners and their families can confidently drink water from their faucets."

Well owners can treat their water to make it less corrosive. There are a number of corrosion control and water filtering devices available that employ media such as carbon, ion exchange resins or activated alumina to filter lead from water. The effectiveness of these devices to reduce lead exposure at the tap can vary greatly. Before purchasing a filter, homeowners are encouraged to verify the lead treatment claims made by the vendor by researching the product on the Water Quality Association and the NSF International website.

In addition to making more than 100 free wellcare Information Sheets on well testing and maintenance available to consumers online, the Water Systems Council has produced a new Well Owners Manual, which is now available for free to well owners across the U.S.

The 32-page manual includes sections on water well systems, well maintenance, selecting a well contractor, protecting wellheads, water well testing and understanding water well test results.  The manual also includes a well owner's checklist and information on the wellcare Hotline, a free hotline that provides advice on protecting, maintaining, testing and conserving drinking well water supplies, at 888-395-1033 or online at www.wellcarehotline.org.   

Each manual comes with a free membership offer for the wellcare Well Owners Network, which provides members with quarterly newsletters featuring tips and tools on caring for well systems, septic systems and well water as well as discounts on water test kits.  Launched in 2009, the wellcare Well Owners Network has more than 10,000 members nationwide.

"WSC is committed to ensuring that Americans who depend on water wells have safe, reliable drinking water," says Steve Anderson, WSC president.  "Well owners with lead pipes in regions with the potential for corrosive groundwater should definitely be testing for and treating their drinking water.  We urge these well owners to contact a water well system professional in your area to inspect your well system for any potential contaminants, including lead."

Well owners can order a free hard copy of the Well Owner's Manual by sending an email to cgreenstreet@watersystemscouncil.org or download a PDF of the manual from the wellcare Hotline website.

The Water Systems Council works to protect groundwater and to ensure private well users in the U.S. have safe, reliable drinking water. For more information, visit www.watersystemscouncil.org.