The North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program is a community partnership funded by The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. The goal of the program is to assess private wells in the northern Worcester County area to determine water quality, educate the homeowner on what their test results show, and work directly with the homeowner if there is a need for remediation efforts.

An important component of this project is this on­going Needs Assessment Survey, which will help the project team target activities aimed at raising awareness of the possibility of private well water contamination and promoting the remediation of private wells, when necessary.

Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells do not have experts regularly checking the water’s source and its quality before it is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water.

RCAP Solutions can provide local well owners the opportunity to have a free, on-site professional review of their well head and the recharge area, and determine well maintenance needs. Well vulnerabilities will be evaluated based on well specifications, nearby environmental threats, geology, and contamination issues in the area.

When considering well contamination problems and risks, it’s important to know what kind of well you have and how it was constructed. Knowing how water gets into your well and from what source will help you understand what you need to do to protect your groundwater source and well from outside influences. RCAP Solutions will compile and assess this information for participating private well owners in order to identify potential issues with their wells, including contamination threats.

Private wells can sometimes be contaminated by substances including arsenic, radon, and uranium, which can have both short and long-term health impacts. With funding from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, RCAP Solutions is partnering with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Montachusett Public Health Network, Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, and the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association on this important project.

Over the next several years, RCAP Solutions is hoping to partner with communities in the region to provide complimentary services to residents. This will include outreach, a limited number of free private well assessments, private well water testing, and additional resources for private well owners. A second phase of this effort will include public education, advocacy for private well regulations that better protect homeowners and communities, and identification of financial resources for homeowners needing well remediation.

For details on how to participate, see North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program.