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What You Need To Know About Private Drinking Water Wells

Photo: Two boys investigating old wooden well
Don't just wish for safe water –
Test for it!

Community drinking water systems are inspected and monitored under the supervision of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), while non-community drinking water systems are the responsibility of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). In addition, IDPH reviews water well installation plans, issues permits for new well construction, and inspects wells. However, private water well owners themselves have the primary responsibility to test well water for potential contaminants.

Groundwater (the source of fresh water for households with a well) can become contaminated in many ways; through contact with natural pollutants, such as arsenic and radon, and by human activities, such as chemical spills. The degree to which a potential health threat may exist depends on the amount and type of the contamination. In some cases, contamination of the water can be detected by sight, taste or smell; however, many of the most serious problems can only be detected through laboratory testing of the water.

This web site provides information and resources that will help you maintain safe drinking water in your well, including well water testing, potential contaminants, how to interpret test results, treating contaminated well water, well maintenance and tips, abandoned wells, proper location and construction of private wells, septic system maintenance, where to get help, and links for additional information.

Well Water

Well Water Testing
Common Contaminants
Other Contaminants
Interpreting Test Results
Treating Contaminated Well Water
Well Maintenance Tips
Abandoned Wells
Proper Location & Construction of New Private Wells
Where To Get Help
List of Accredited Labs
Septic System Maintenance
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