Friday, March 05, 2010
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National Groundwater Awareness Week March 7-13

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[March 05, 2010]  The Logan County Department of Public Health is publicizing National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 7-13, which is sponsored by the National Groundwater Association. Groundwater serves as the source of drinking water for the vast majority of Americans, regardless of whether it comes from a private well or a public water system. Therefore, it is important to recognize the importance of protecting this vital resource.

HardwareThere are several ways for all of us to protect our groundwater. First, store and properly dispose of hazardous household substances to prevent direct contact with the ground surface. Secondly, properly maintain your on-site septic system to prevent improperly treated waste from entering into the groundwater supply. Third, properly seal unused wells since abandoned wells can provide a direct route for contaminants to enter the groundwater supply. Prior to having a well sealed, contact your local health department for information concerning regulations.


There are an estimated 400,000 water wells serving the household needs of over approximately 1.3 million people in Illinois. It is important for well owners to properly maintain their wells to prevent groundwater contamination. First, make sure sources of contamination are located far enough from the well by establishing a safety zone. This setback may commonly range from 50 to 200 feet, depending on the type or source of contamination. The Illinois Department of Public Health has established regulations for minimum setback distances, and your local health department can provide you with additional information. Secondly, it is important to have your well routinely inspected by a licensed water well contractor to ensure proper maintenance. Improper maintenance, such as a crack in the cap or casing, can provide a direct route for surface contaminants to reach the groundwater supply.

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The water from public systems is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and routinely monitored for contaminant levels. However, owners of private wells must manage their own water systems and take responsibility to ensure their water is safe. Therefore, water well owners are encouraged to have their water tested at least annually to monitor bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants of local concern.

The Logan County Department of Public Health asks for your support in doing your part to protect our groundwater in recognition of National Groundwater Awareness Week. For more information, contact the Logan County Department of Public Health at 735-2317.

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals

[Text from file received from the Logan County Department of Public Health]

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