well in rural area

Individual Well Program

Subcribe hereMore than 43 million people in the United States rely on private water wells as their sole drinking water source according to a national research study by the US Geological Survey. The study also found that more than one out of the five wells contained one or more contaminants at concentrations above the safe human health benchmark. Some common contaminants found in domestic wells, included arsenic, uranium, boron, lithium and radionuclides. Drinking contaminated water can cause deficiency in cognitive development in infants and young children leading to life-long learning disabilities, cancer, thyroid problems, and other serious health issues.

The quality and safety of private water wells is not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) or any state or county laws. Individual well owners are responsible for maintaining and monitoring the water quality of their private well systems. However, many well owners do not know how to properly maintain their well to ensure the safety of their drinking water source.

RCAC launched the pilot, Individual Well Program in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association, University of Illinois, National Groundwater Association and the Water System Council to provide free well assessments and educational resources for private well owners, not regulated by SDWA. To apply online or mail/fax your request, see below.

Well Assessment Request Form Well Assessment Flyer-Request Form (Español)


Well Assessment Flyer-Request Form


What does the well assessment include?

RCAC staff members perform the comprehensive well assessment, including an inspection for potential well vulnerabilities, potential contamination sources in close proximity to the well, and inspection to make sure the well is constructed properly, according to state well construction standards. The well assessment provides well owners with the education and resources to ensure their drinking water source is safe and reliable.

What are the benefits and outcomes of the well assessments?

  • Inspection and completed well assessment report with recommendations of possible needed repairs and water treatment options.
  • RCAC low-interest household well loans and possible grants in California for repairs and drilling a new well in the face of the drought.
  • Well Owners Resources Package, provided as a continuous learning resource.
  • Well owners are more knowledgeable about how to properly maintain, inspect and perform regular water quality monitoring on their private well.
  • Future follow-up technical assistance as needed.

Well owner workshops: Private Wells and Septic System Operation and Maintenance

The well owner workshops will educate well owners on proper operation and maintenance of septic systems and drinking water wells, common septic and well troubleshooting, preventive maintenance and solutions, and protecting our groundwater. The workshop is useful for private well and septic system owners.

Topics include:

  • RCAC well programs and partner work
  • Well and septic operation
  • Well and septic maintenance tips
  • Importance of water quality
  • Geology and aquifers

To subscribe and get updates on upcoming workshops and well assessments trips in your area, please click here.

Workshop Dates & Locations:

Private Well and Septic System Operation & Maintenance Workshop

November 4, 2017 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Southwest District Health
13307 Miami Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607
Register here>>

November 11, 2017 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
McSwain Union Elementary School District
926 Scott Rd
Merced, California 95341
Register here>>

Private Well Owners: When was the last time you had your well tested? Do you want to learn more about protecting your groundwater and the issues that can impact drinking water? Are you having well or septic system problems?

This workshop will educate well owners on proper operation and maintenance of drinking water wells and septic systems, common troubleshooting of domestic well and septic system, preventive maintenance and solutions.

Bring a three ounce sample of your well water to get a free water quality test for nitrate. Nitrate is commonly associated with wastewater contamination.


Help fund the Individual Well Program – contact:

David Wallis
Regional Environmental Manager
(559) 337-0360

Interested in the well assessment – contact:

Thi Pham
Project Coordinator, Individual Well Program
(916) 447 – 2854 ext. 1038