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DPH reminds private well users to test water regularly

While homeowners with private wells aren't required to test, the Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the importance of testing their water.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has an important reminder for homeowners who use private well water: Test the water regularly.

Homeowners with private wells are responsible for the quality of their water and are generally not required to test. However, DPH officials said testing is a good idea even if you do not suspect a problem because it's the only way to be sure your water is safe to drink.

"Your private well, just like anything else in your home, it should be part of your thought process and general maintenance of infrastructure of your house, just like you clean the furnace on a frequent basis, making sure that's up and running," said Lori Mathieu with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

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The department said testing your private well water provides you with information on the quality of your water and is the best way to ensure that your home's water supply is safe for use. It can also determine if nuisance contaminants, such as iron and manganese are present and at what levels.

It is highly recommended to test water quality when buying a home so that you can make informed decisions about your purchase.

"When they're brand new homeowner, maybe never had ownership of a private well before, to have information, to be armed with the information you need about what should I be looking out for, how to I protect that particular, the well casing, what if something goes wrong with my well, who to contact. The testing is really important, but also the protection of that water quality and the quantity," said Mathieu.

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A study published by the U.S. Geological Survey last year provided an updated, statewide estimate of high levels of naturally occurring arsenic and uranium in some private well water across Connecticut.

"Those two have two separate federal requirements that show that there are health impacts at certain levels. Arsenic and uranium are not acute risks, they are longer-term risks," said Mathieu.

DPH recommends people test for basic contaminants once a year or every other year using a state-certified environmental laboratory. Prices vary between labs.

For more information about how to test your private well water and a list of resources head here.

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Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at abavaro@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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