Environment

Department of Environment recommends inspection, testing of private wells (09/10/08)

NB 1518

Oct. 8, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Private well owners are being advised to inspect their wells, to remove any potential sources of nearby contamination and to test their well water.

"There are more than 100,000 private wells in New Brunswick, supplying drinking water to about 300,000 New Brunswickers," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "While we are fortunate to have good drinking water in our province, residents should remember that it is important to test their well water regularly for bacteria and contamination."

Appropriate water sampling bottles and instructions on proper sampling may be obtained from:

The cost of analyzing water samples may range from $6 for a single parameter to $130 or more for a full set of chemical parameters.

Some residents may also want to chlorinate their water from time to time. Individuals may go online for tips and instructions.

"It is the responsibility of private well-owners to protect their drinking water supply," said Miles. "I encourage private well-owners to be proactive when it comes to protecting their wells from damage and contamination."

Private well-owners are able to take many precautions to prevent contamination. They should ensure that:

Well water can also be contaminated if well casings are improperly maintained or damaged. Private well owners should inspect their well for problems such as a cracked, corroded, or damaged well casing, pump or pipes; or a broken or missing well cap.

Well caps should be watertight and vermin-proof. Well casings should not be cut below the land surface. If this has already occurred, the casing should be extended to 30 centimetres (one foot) above ground level.

Those needing work done on their wells may obtain a list of licensed water well drillers by contacting either the Environment Department, 506-457-4846; the New Brunswick Groundwater Association, 506-433-6767; or by going online.

09/10/08

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.

09/10/08