Meeting the public health challenge of protecting private wells: Proceedings and recommendations from an expert panel workshop

Mary A. Fox, Keeve E. Nachman, Breeana Anderson, Juleen Lam, Beth Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Private wells serving fewer than 25 people are federally unregulated, and their users may be exposed to naturally occurring agents of concern such as arsenic and radionuclides, as well as anthropogenic contaminants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Clean Water for Health Program works to protect private wells and prevent adverse health outcomes for the roughly 15% of Americans who rely on them. To understand current and emerging challenges to the private drinking water supply, an interdisciplinary expert panel workshop on "Future and Emerging Issues for Private Wells" was organized to inform strategic planning for the Clean Water for Health Program. The panel assessed current conditions of ground water as a source for private wells, identified emerging threats, critical gaps in knowledge, and public health needs, and recommended strategies to guide future activities to ensure the safety of private drinking water wells. These strategies addressed topics of broad interest to the environmental public health community including: development of new methods to support citizen science; addressing contaminant mixtures; expanding capacity for well testing; evaluating treatment technologies; building an evidence base on best practices on well owner outreach and stewardship; and research and data needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume554-555
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Disease prevention
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Human health
  • Private wells
  • Unregulated drinking water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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