Water Well Standards Under Discussion

istock-000006184505small.jpgWater Well Standards under Discussion Bryan Swistock, senior water resources extension associate, appeared before the House Consumer Affairs Committee in a hearing on House Bill 1855, which would create standards for water well construction. Pennsylvania is currently one of just a few states that do not have statewide requirements for the construction of private water wells. He testified that research has shown that about 40 percent of all water wells in the state fail to meet at least one standard for safe drinking water.

“We recognize that private water wells are a critical part of the water infrastructure in Pennsylvania, providing drinking water to millions of residents in rural homes, farms, and businesses,” he testified.

“Several of our research projects have shown that homeowners with water wells that fail at least one health-based drinking water standard are typically unaware that their water is unsafe,” said Swistock.Inadequate water well construction and the lack of awareness of water quality problems by well owners represent significant potential health risks among the millions of rural residents, farmers, and businesses that access the shared groundwater resource, Swistock concluded.