Seacoast Private Well Initiative in Full Swing

Date: March 03, 2023

The Seacoast Private Well Initiative is offering educational workshops and free well water testing to all households using private wells in 12 communities. The Initiative came out of the work of the Seacoast Commission on Long-Term Goals and Requirements for Drinking Water, which was established under RSA 485-F:6, “to plan for long-term goals and requirements for drinking water on the seacoast.”  

Map of New Hampshire coastal communities participating in the Seacoast Private Well Initiative: Dover, Madbury, Newington, Portsmouth, New Castle, Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, Seabrook, Exeter, Stratham, Greenland.After reviewing public water system and private well information for Seacoast towns, the Commission decided to take action to address the potential of harmful levels of contaminants in private wells, and it sought funding from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission, which oversees the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund. The goals of the Initiative are:  

  1.     To protect public health by reducing exposure to common contaminants in well water.  
  2.     To promote health-protective best practices by example for private well users statewide.  
  3.     To evaluate the effectiveness of the approach with a view to potential implementation statewide.  

The first two workshops were held in Madbury and Exeter/North Hampton for private well users. Water was analyzed for a list of contaminants common in New Hampshire’s groundwater and drinking water, including bacteria, radon, arsenic, lead, uranium, manganese and four PFAS compounds. Participating households will receive their water test results, information on health risks of any contaminants found, and recommendations on treatment systems from NHDES’ Be Well Informed resource.  

Towns Wells Tested
Madbury 84
Exeter/North Hampton 107

For more information, contact Amy Hudnor, NHDES Private Well Coordinator at or visit the Seacoast Private Well Initiative website.