Environmental Protection

National Ground Water Awareness Week

March 10-16 is National Ground Water Awareness Week, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and the Tennessee Department of Health is encouraging their residents and private well owners to support ground water awareness this week.

National Ground Water Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Ground Water Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the EPA, highlights the importance of underground water resources to raise awareness on the importance of annual water well testing and proper maintenance to prevent illness.

“Tennesseans can do their part in promoting good stewardship of the state’s ground water by properly maintaining their home septic systems and any abandoned wells they own,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “Contamination of ground water can also be prevented by properly storing and disposing of hazardous household waste products such as gasoline, oil, paints, and cleaning products.”

At least three outbreaks of waterborne illness caused from the consumption of water from a private well or spring have been investigated in Tennessee since 2007. Of these outbreaks, 16 people were known to become ill from consuming the water. This is why it is highly recommended for private water to be tested each year for bacteria and chemical contaminants.

There are some areas where karst or limestone geology predominates, and filtration through the earth is not effective at those sites. Therefore, continuous purifying treatment such as home filtration, chlorinating systems, and distillers are often necessary in order for the drinking water to be safe enough for consumption.

For more information on National Ground Water Awareness Week, please click here.

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