North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program

About the Program

The North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program is a community partnership funded by The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. The goal of the program is to assess private wells in the northern Worcester County area to determine water quality, educate the homeowner on what their test results show, and work directly with the homeowner if there is a need for remediation efforts.

Private wells can sometimes be contaminated by substances including arsenic, radon, and uranium, which can have both short and long-term health impacts. RCAP Solutions is partnering with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Montachusett Public Health Network, Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, and the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association on this important project.

Over the next several years, RCAP Solutions is hoping to partner with communities in the region to provide complimentary services to residents. This will include outreach, a limited number of complementary private well assessments, private well water testing, and additional resources for private well owners. A second phase of this effort will include public education, advocacy for private well regulations that better protect homeowners and communities, and identification of financial resources for homeowners needing well remediation.

For the latest updates, follow #WhatsInYourWellWater on social media.

The Value of Well Assessments & Water Testing

Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells do not have experts regularly checking the water’s source and its quality before it is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water. When considering well contamination problems and risks, it’s important to know what kind of well you have and how it was constructed. Knowing how water gets into your well and from what source will help you understand what you need to do to protect your groundwater source and well from outside influences.

Take the Needs Assessment Survey

An important component of this project is this on­going Needs Assessment Survey, which will help the project team target activities aimed at raising awareness of the possibility of private well water contamination and promoting the remediation of private wells, when necessary.

We invite you to complete the Needs North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program Needs Assessment Survey. It should take you no longer than 15 minutes. The information you provide will inform the project team as it develops this multi-year program to improve private well water quality. No risks greater than those experienced in responding to general survey questions are anticipated. Still, your participation in the survey is voluntary, and you may choose not to answer any questions and/or leave the survey at any time without penalty.

Anonymous data from this survey will be analyzed. No individual respondent’s name will be identified or linked to the results. The results of the needs assessment may be published or otherwise reported to scientific bodies and documentation for funders, but your identity will in no way be revealed. All information obtained from this assessment will be stored in a secure location, and access to files will be restricted to the RCAP Solutions staff and their evaluator based with Education Development Center, Inc.

Needs Assessment Survey (Click)

Consent: By completing the survey, you are indicating that you fully understand the above information and agree to participate in this assessment.

If you have any questions about this survey, you may contact Jim Starbard, 978-502-0227.

Eligible Communities

The communities shown in the following map are included in the program’s area of focus.

Not in this region? Check out our our EPA Private Well Program.

#WhatsInYourWellWater | 3 Easy Steps to Drill Down Some Answers

1) What to test your water for…

Many contaminants are naturally occurring from features found in the rocks and soils of Massachusetts. These include substances like bacteria, radon, arsenic, uranium, and other minerals. For more detailed information check out MassDEP’s Guide to Water Quality Testing for Private Wells.

2) Where to go to get your water tested…

If you are concerned about the quality of your drinking water, you can contact a MassDEP-certified laboratory to have your water tested.

3) What your water test results mean…

Be Well Informed (BWI) is an online tool hosted by EPA that allows you to enter your water quality lab results and obtain information regarding any contaminant concentrations that exceed MassDEP or federal standards or guidelines that exist for public drinking water. To access the The BWI tool, and for instructions, click here.

Our Staff & Contact Information

The North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program is led by Jim Starbard, Massachusetts State Lead. Mr. Starbard is experienced in all aspects of public health protection and promotion at the local level including inspectional services, emergency preparedness activities, and administrative duties. For more information or assistance, please click below to contact Jim.

Jim Starbard

Massachusetts State Lead, RCAP Solutions


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Helpful Links


UMass Amherst

National Resources

Our Partners

This program is made possible through funding from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts