Fish & Water
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Water connects everyone and everything in Alabama. From drinking water to recreation, this liquid necessity plays an important role for all walks of life. Many people rely on ground water to bathe, cook and even drink. This places a responsibility on private well owners to ensure proper water quality for their families. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System provides an invaluable resource for water well owners–the Private Well Program.
About the Private Well Program
The Alabama Private Well Program has been delivering education and outreach services since 2020 to help stakeholders with private water resources. Thousands of Alabamians utilize private water every year according to Jessica Curl, Alabama Extension water program coordinator.
“This program engages with the public through the creation of resources housed on the Alabama Cooperative Extension System webpage, webinars and in-person workshops,” Curl said. “In 2022, the available resources were expanded upon with the establishment of the Private Well Program Online Course.”
Curl explains that several topics for course participants introduce users to essential to proper well ownership and safety. Each attendee will learn about private water systems during the online course.
A Threefold Resource
By using a threefold approach—an online course, webinar series and digital print content—there is a Private Well Program resource for everyone. Curl said these resources are essential for Alabamians who are responsible for the maintenance, testing and treatment of well systems.
“Wells can become contaminated through failed maintenance, improper construction or poor stewardship practices around the well,” Curl said. “Access to these resources allows well owners to have a proactive hand in ensuring that their water quality remains safe.”
Topics included in all private well resources pertain to aquifers, well construction standards, water testing basics and interpreting results, water well maintenance and where to get your water tested.
The Best of the Best
Alabama Extension personnel, researchers, agency partners work together to provide education to well owners. This collaboration sets research priorities while also establishing a well owner network. This trustworthy team delivers unbiased, scientific information to assess needs and identifies issues.
The group crafted its educational topics and curriculum after utilizing a statewide needs assessment for Extension personnel. Survey results determining approximately 36% of respondents contact county offices at least once a month with well water questions. Creators of the Private Well Program listen to communities’ needs and develop needs-based programming. Key components provided by feedback were inserted into program materials.
For any well owner, Alabama Extension’s Private Well Program web page is a worthwhile resource. To learn more about the program and its resources, visit www.aces.edu.