Is your wa­ter safe?

Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE • COURTHOUSE ROW - From con­trib­uted re­ports

If you live in Rap­pa­han­nock County there’s a good chance your wa­ter source is a pri­vate well. If so, there are rec­om­mended prac­tices for keep­ing wa­ter safe — granted it’s safe to be­gin with.

Well own­ers are of­ten un­aware of the pos­si­ble causes of con­tam­i­na­tion to their wa­ter. Older wells may not be sealed prop­erly near the sur­face or their source of wa­ter may be shal­low and in­flu­enced by po­ten­tial pol­lu­tant sources like feed­lots, sep­tic sys­tems, and other land uses.

Pri­vate wells are un­reg­u­lated un­der the Safe Wa­ter Drink­ing Act, thus it is the well own­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure the wa­ter is safe to drink.

The South­east Ru­ral Com­mu­nity As­sis­tance Project is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, work­ing with the EPA and USDA, to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach to well own­ers. Bet­ter yet, SERCAP is lo­cally based and is seek­ing well own­ers to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­gram by hav­ing a free in-per­son as­sess­ment of their wa­ter well.

The as­sess­ment process will help a well owner un­der­stand the po­ten­tial risks and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties that might im­pact their drink­ing wa­ter. It con­sid­ers site con­di­tions, ge­ol­ogy, land use prac­tices, well con­struc­tion, and main­te­nance to pro­vide a well owner with a list of pos­si­ble con­cerns, if any are found.

Ad­di­tion­ally, rec­om­men­da­tions and best prac­tices will be pro­vided to help res­i­dents keep their well and fam­ily safe from well con­tam­i­na­tion. SERCAP staff will not be open­ing the well or tak­ing wa­ter sam­ples.

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in this free as­sess­ment can con­tact Joe Fields at jfields@sercap. org or 540-494-3011 to sched­ule a day and time. The as­sess­ment takes one hour and a writ­ten re­port will be pro­vided within a month of the visit.

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