Private Well Program
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information regarding important topics surrounding well health, maintenance, and owner responsibility were either outdated, nonexistent, or too difficult to find.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.
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.