CWFNC does research and public education on drinking water source protection, the right to safe, affordable water, and threats to both ground and surface water. As a result of working with several communities whose wells were contaminated, we have worked extensively to strengthen protections for over 3 million NC private well users, most of whose wells have never been inspected or tested for more than bacteria, even when state and local agencies knew of nearby contamination sites.
Protecting Your Well
Are you one of the more than 3 million private well users in NC? Most wells have never been inspected or tested for more than bacteria, even when state and local agencies knew of nearby contamination sites. CWFNC works for protection of groundwater and well users throughout the state.
If your well was installed after July 2008 (when the state began to require licenses for new wells):
- Be sure to report any odd tastes or odors. You can also ask them for a copy of your water quality test results and a copy of your well certificate.
- Request additional testing by contacting your county’s environmental health representative. A test every 3-5 years is recommended.
- Well sampling costs and new permit costs for each county can be viewed here.
If your well was installed before July 2008:
- This link will take you to a list of county health department contacts. Find your local contact, call, and ask for the well program.
- CWFNC recommends testing your well for at a minimum: Total Coliform Bacteria, Arsenic, Lead, Zinc, and nitrates/nitrites. A full water test (required since 2008) would also include: barium, cadmium, Copper, Fluoride, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, selenium, silver, Sodium, and pH.
*If you think you may have other sources of contamination near your well, including pesticide use or underground fuel tanks, ask your county well program about other well testing available.*
Contact the staff at NC Dept. of Environmental Quality – Water Resources
The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) offers free well assessments to identify potential threats to your well. Click here to view a flyer with details on this program.
Please view the FAQs on well water contamination, including questions about contamination, well water testing, and how to gather further information. Environmental Working Group also has an excellent primer on private well water safety.