Private water well owners learned about the importance of proper well caps and well plugging to protect water quality on September 5 during NGWA’s Protect Your Groundwater Day (PYGWD).
With the PYGWD theme of “Cap It, Plug It!” well owners learned that it is not uncommon to find household water wells with well caps that are damaged, loose, or even missing. Also, while no one knows for certain how many improperly abandoned wells and other boreholes exist in the United States, the number is believed to be in the millions. These present the dual threat of a direct pathway into aquifers for surface contamination and a physical hazard to people and animals.
The PYGWD campaign emphasized that well cap repair, replacement, installation, and well plugging is best done by a water well contractor in accordance with applicable codes.
Among those promoting PYGWD were:
- Nationally — The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Water Works Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- States — The Connecticut Department of Health, Delaware Geological Survey, Florida Ground Water Association, Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Kentucky Geological Survey, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Texas Groundwater Protection Committee, and the Vermont Department of Health
- Localities — The Apopka (Florida) Voice, Chesterton Tribune (Indiana), Clay County Public Health Center (Kansas), Forester Daily News (California), Greene County Public Health Department (Ohio), Jefferson County (Colorado), Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Johns River Water Management District (Florida), Xenia Gazette (Ohio), Eau Claire Health Department (Wisconsin), Fairborn Daily Herald (Ohio), Kendall County Health Department (Illinois), Owen County Cooperative Extension (Kentucky), Suncook County Sun (Massachusetts), and city of Tucson, Arizona
- Companies — Denver Winpump Co., Heron Instruments, 2M Co., and Viqua.
NGWA Director of General Public Outreach Cliff Treyens encouraged all NGWA members who have websites or are involved in social media to share tools developed for the Cap It, Plug It campaign.
“The video and the infographics developed for the Protect Your Groundwater Day campaign are not time-specific, so they can be used for years to come,” Treyens said. “These are great tools to use in helping current or prospective customers protect their water quality.
“These tools are compelling and designed to make an impression on well owners. Ultimately, we hope to make well owners aware of these threats to their water quality so that they will contact water well system professionals for solutions.”