KDHE launches public awareness campaign regarding well water

Approximately 7 percent of Kansans get their water from privately-owned wells. Recently, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) unveiled a public awareness campaign to recommend that private well water users have their wells tested for at least two contaminates, every one to three years. The contaminants include Total Coliform Bacteria and Nitrate.

“It’s important for residents to understand that the Environmental Protection Agency sets regulations for treating and monitoring community water systems, but these regulations don’t apply to privately-owned wells,” said KDHE Environment Director Leo Henning. “Residents are responsible for monitoring their own wells, so we want them to have the information they need to ensure their drinking water is safe from contamination.”

The campaign includes a flyer, public service announcement, web page and social media messaging. The new web page includes an interactive map, with which residents can select their county and identify entities that will perform well water testing. The web page also includes a tutorial video on sampling wells. An additional feature is access to the Kansas Environmental Interest Finder, which allows residents to search their neighborhoods for possible contamination, such as where their home sits in proximity to former dry cleaning businesses.

“Protecting the health of all Kansans is a high priority,” said KDHE Environmental Health Officer and State Epidemiologist Farah Ahmed. “We want residents to have the tools they need to understand what they are consuming. While most water supplies are safe, there are some inherent risks that come with well water use, and drinking contaminated well water can affect your health.”

Those who have questions or concerns about their well water are encouraged to call KDHE at 785-296-5500. Learn more at www.kdheks.gov/wellwateraware/.

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