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About the Program

The Alabama Private Well Program was initiated in 2020 in response to a statewide gap in education and resources around testing and maintaining private well water quality. After learning from the precedent other states have set in private well education, the Private Well Program team conducted a statewide information/educational needs assessment with ACES County Agents and Administrators, as well as with the Alabama Department of Public Health. The results of this assessment provided insight into key pieces of information to include in the program materials, and identified which questions Extension professionals receive on a frequent basis. Results of the survey showed that 36 percent of respondents reported that they were contacted with questions about private well water at least once a month, with the most frequently asked question being “how do I get my drinking water tested?”.

Prior to the establishment of this program, information regarding important topics surrounding well health, maintenance, and owner responsibility were either outdated, nonexistent, or too difficult to find. Because groundwater is the primary source of drinking water for about 44 percent of the state’s population, the issues and concerns regarding well health are at the forefront of public safety, both for individuals who rely on private well water, and private well owners who may inadvertently contribute to groundwater contamination.

Program Purpose

This program will provide necessary guidelines for county Extension agents to ensure that private well owners have access to safe and reliable testing resources, as well as other supplemental information to promote well water stewardship in the State.

Topics Covered

Woman filling a glass of water from a stainless steel or chrome tap or faucet, close up on her hand and the glass with running water and air bubbles.

What is an Aquifer?

Groundwater of Alabama

Water Well Construction Standards

Basics of Testing Well Water

Interpreting Drinking Water Test Results

Common Contaminants Found in Well Water

EPA Drinking Water Guidelines

Decommissioning Unused or Abandoned Wells

Where to Get Your Well Water Tested

Specific Treatment Options for Water Well Owners

General Treatment Options for Wells

Problems With Water Yield in Private Water Wells

Protecting Well Water

Flooded Wells: Shock Chlorination

How to Take a Well Water Sample

Water Well Placement – Why Does it Matter?

Where to Find Information About a Private Water Well 

More Information

A full page of resources can be found on the Private Well Program webpage. If you have questions about the Private Well Program, contact alwells@auburn.edu.

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