Drinking water from private wells and risks to children

Helen J. Binns, Joel A. Forman, Catherine J. Karr, Kevin Osterhoudt, Jerome A. Paulson, James R. Roberts, Megan T. Sandel, James M. Seltzer, Robert O. Wright, Elizabeth Blackburn, Mark Anderson, Sharon Savage, Walter J. Rogan, N. Beth Ragan, Paul Spire, Joseph A. Bocchini, Henry H. Bernstein, John S. Bradley, Michael T. Brady, Carrie L. ByingtonPenelope H. Dennehy, Margaret C. Fisher, Robert W. Frenck, Mary P. Glode, Harry L. Keyserling, David W. Kimberlin, Walter A. Orenstein, Lorry G. Rubin, Robert S. Baltimore, Julia A. McMillan, Beth Bell, Robert Bortolussi, Richard D. Clover, Marc A. Fischer, Richard L. Gorman, R. Douglas Pratt, Jennifer S. Read, Bruce Gellin, Jeffrey R. Starke, Jack Swanson, Carol J. Baker, Sarah S. Long, Larry K. Pickering, Edgar O. Ledbetter, H. Cody Meissner, Jennifer Frantz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Drinking water for approximately one sixth of US households is obtained from private wells. These wells can become contaminated by pollutant chemicals or pathogenic organisms and cause illness. Although the US Environmental Protection Agency and all states offer guidance for construction, maintenance, and testing of private wells, there is little regulation. With few exceptions, well owners are responsible for their own wells. Children may also drink well water at child care or when traveling. Illness resulting from children's ingestion of contaminated water can be severe. This policy statement provides recommendations for inspection, testing, and remediation for wells providing drinking water for children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1599-1605
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009



  • Drinking water
  • Groundwater
  • Nitrate
  • Private well
  • Water
  • Waterborne disease
  • Well
  • Well water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Binns, H. J., Forman, J. A., Karr, C. J., Osterhoudt, K., Paulson, J. A., Roberts, J. R., Sandel, M. T., Seltzer, J. M., Wright, R. O., Blackburn, E., Anderson, M., Savage, S., Rogan, W. J., Ragan, N. B., Spire, P., Bocchini, J. A., Bernstein, H. H., Bradley, J. S., Brady, M. T., ... Frantz, J. (2009). Drinking water from private wells and risks to children. Pediatrics, 123(6), 1599-1605. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2009-0751