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Private wells at high risk of chemical contamination

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An environmental research organization is sounding the alarm about the dangers of contamination in private wells.

The Environmental Working Group has released a new report on private wells indicating one in four private wells has chemical contamination over health advisory standards.

Tasha Stoiber is a senior scientist with EWG.  She said contaminated private wells are difficult to identify because there are no testing requirements.

“We have national requirements for testing public utilities and limits on contaminants on those but for private well owners it is really up to you.”

Stoiber said a number of contaminants can be lethal at low doses.

“There are a handful of state requirements. Sometimes testing is required or when there is a real estate transaction but there are really no consistent regulations at the national level so it’s really hard to know without sampling what the true exposures are.”

At least 44 million Americans get their water from private wells and Stoiber said especially in families with children it is important to test wells regularly.

She said annual water tests are recommended.