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Failure to test small, private wells is risky

Ensuring that well water is clean and free of contamination is not always a sure thing. It must be routinely checked. State and federal law do provide some protection for those using private well water, but there are no laws governing wells that fall below a minimum usage. In such cases, owners are not required to perform routine checks.

For those who rely on small private wells—according to the Department of Public Health, one in five Georgians does—there is a risk present when routine testing is not conducted. Unfortunately, when no requirements for water safety and purity testing are in place, owners often opt to take their chances. According to the University of Georgia’s Soil, Plant and Water Analysis Lab, less than 600 samples have been received from roughly 2,838 households for testing. 

Failure to routinely check private wells can lead not only to bacterial infections and mineral imbalances, but occasionally more serious well water contamination. This can sometimes include exposure to hazardous wastes emitted by local businesses. With routine testing of private wells, such contamination can at least be detected.

In some cases, it is possible for those harmed by well water contamination to pursue compensation for injuries and losses. When pursuing such litigation, it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in such matters and who understands not only the law, but also how to effectively advocate for those harmed by exposure to toxic substances. This will ensure the best possible outcome in one’s case.

Source:, “Georgia’s well water not always as healthy as it tastes,” Lee Adcock, May 8, 2014. 

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