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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: March 5, 2010
CONTACT: Brandon Kernen, (603) 271-0660

DES Urges Water Well Checkups
March 7 to 13 is National Ground Water Awareness Week

Concord, NH – The Department of Environmental Services (DES) is encouraging everyone with a private well to inspect their well and test their water during National Ground Water Awareness Week, March 7 to 13. Just like an annual inspection for your automobile and regular inspection of smoke detectors in your home, well inspection and testing is important for protecting the safety of you and your family.

Approximately forty percent of New Hampshire residents get their drinking water from a private well, but 20 percent of private wells in New Hampshire produce water that exhibit unhealthy levels of naturally occurring arsenic, and even more wells produce water with elevated concentrations of radon for which treatment is recommended. Wells that have not been properly maintained may produce water contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. Inspecting your well and testing well water is the best way to make sure that your water is clean and safe to drink, but well owners often don’t have the right kinds of tests done or do not use accredited laboratories. DES’s well inspecting and testing recommendations can be found at

Recognize the Importance of Groundwater

During National Groundwater Awareness week, we should all consider the fact that nearly 98 percent of all the non-frozen freshwater on Earth is found in soil and bedrock underground. Groundwater is not only a critical source of water for drinking and other uses for 60% of the residents in New Hampshire, but also is the source of water in many streams, lakes, and wetlands during times of limited precipitation.

The New Hampshire Water Resources Primer informs New Hampshire’s citizens about groundwater, drinking water, water use and all of the interconnected water resources in our state. This document also identifies the challenges faced in sustainably managing water resources. The New Hampshire Water Resources Primer is available on the DES website at; under “Hot Topics,” click on “New Hampshire Water Resources Primer.”

Take Action to Protect Groundwater Resources

DES encourages municipalities to adopt local groundwater protection programs and to work with neighboring municipalities to protect shared aquifers. Several New Hampshire municipalities have groundwater protection initiatives on the ballot for their 2010 town meetings. For more information on what your community can do to protect groundwater, go to

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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