About the Program
Most private wells are unregulated and homeowners themselves are solely responsible for their water quality, quantity, and necessary maintenance. RCAP Solutions’ private well program, funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), uses a combination of online and in-person technical assistance, training, education, and resources/tools to boost knowledge and competency of individual well owners as well as thousands of private well professionals and stakeholders across the country.
The Importance of Understanding Private Well Basics
Private wells can sometimes be contaminated by substances including arsenic, radon, and uranium, which can have both short and long-term health impacts. Drinking contaminated water can cause deficiency in cognitive development in young people, leading to disabilities, cancer, and other serious health issues.
Currently, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) does not regulate the quality and safety of private well water, nor do any nation-wide laws. Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells do not have experts regularly checking the water source and its quality before it comes out of the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water.
Complimentary Well Assessments
It’s a good practice to assess your well head several times a year, checking the well covering, casing, and well cap to make sure all are in good repair, with no entry points for potential pollutants. You should also have the entire well system inspected every 10 years by a qualified well driller or pump installer. If you have no inspection record and cannot determine the age of the well, have it inspected immediately by a water well professional.
RCAP Solutions can provide you with a complimentary, on site, professional review of your well head and the recharge area in order to determine well maintenance needs. Well vulnerabilities are evaluated based on well specifications, nearby environmental threats, geology and contamination issues in the area.
RCAP Solutions can compile and assess this information for you to help identify potential issues, including contamination threats.
Your Local Contacts for Private Well Support
Connecticut: Jim Starbard, (978) 502-0227, email@example.com
Maine: Michelle Coad, (207) 270-0142, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts: Jim Starbard, (978) 502-0227, email@example.com
New Hampshire: Martin Mistretta, (603) 312-7901, Mmistretta@rcapsolutions.org
New Jersey: Michael Cohrs, (201) 551-1173, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York: Candace Balmer, (845) 332-0257, email@example.com
Pennsylvania: Wanda Rios Martinez, (814) 718-2118, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhode Island: Jim Starbard, (978) 502-0227, email@example.com
Vermont: John Kiernan, (802) 377-5938, firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Assistance Resources for Private Well Homeowners
The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP)’s Individual Household Well & Septic Loan products, which are underwritten by USDA Rural Development, provide low-interest (1%) loans to eligible Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) homeowners for the repair or replacement of an individual household well or septic system.
SERCAP has partnered with RCAP Solutions to make this program available to homeowners in RCAP Solutions’ service area.
Privatewellclass.org (for classes, webinars, events and other resources)
https://xml2.des.state.nh.us/DWITool/Welcome.aspx (for help understanding if any action or treatment is needed on well water based on lab test results)
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~arsenicandyou/ Information on Arsenic in Food, Water & Other Sources
https://www.epa.gov/privatewells/what-do-your-private-well-after-flood What to Do With Your Private Well After a Flood
https://espanol.epa.gov/espanol/que-hacer-con-su-pozo-privado-despues-de-una-inundacion Qué hacer con su pozo privado después de una inundación
https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/private_wells.htm New York State resources from the Dept. of Health.
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/safe-watch/tools.html Tools developed by various health departments working with CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program to reduce exposures from private wells.
www.rcapsolutions.org/ma-private-wells Private Well Program to Protect Public Health to address drinking water issues in the Northern Central Massachusetts area.