Newsletter #7 for July 2016
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Opportunity for Free Well Assessment

Our partners in the RCAP network are seeking additional well owners to participate in a pilot test of a new private well assessment tool. 

Well owners are often unaware of the possible causes of contamination to their water. Older wells may not be sealed properly near the surface or their source of water may be shallow and influenced by potential pollutant sources like feedlots, septic systems, and other land uses. 

In partnership with an expert workgroup, we developed this assessment tool to provide a well owner with a comprehensive evaluation of the possible sources of contamination at or near their well. The tool is designed to be administered by water and environmental health professionals as a service to well owners. RCAP is currently working in roughly half of the states to complete 720 assessments by January 2017. 

The assessment process will help a well owner understand the potential risks and vulnerabilities that might impact their drinking water. It considers site conditions, geology, land use practices, well construction, and maintenance to provide a well owner with a list of possible concerns, if any are found. Additionally, recommendations and best practices will be provided to help them keep their well and family safe from well contamination.

The assessments are free, but may be limited to certain geographic areas. To nominate a well for assessment (including your own), please send an email to with the following information:

Well Owner Name:
Well Owner Email:
Well Owner Phone:
Well Location:

Or, if you would like to learn more about it, give Steve a call at 217-333-0956.

H2O&M: Community Septic System Owner's Guide

H2O&M is a community and individual septic owner's online tool designed to develop an Owner's Guide for everything from a single-family home, to a commercial property, to a cluster system serving 50+ homes. Partners can use this septic assessment tool to develop an operations and maintenance (O&M) plan for a variety of scenarios.
This tool was funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and created by the University of Minnesota.
Our very own resident groundwater hydrologist, Steve Wilson, and drinking water specialist, Jennifer Wilson, attended the NEHA 2016 AEC in San Antonio, TX from June 13-16, 2016.

They were able to connect with Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) staff, along with other environmental health professionals and industry colleagues.
Steve gave a presentation entitled, “Learning Opportunities and Tools for EH Professionals to Assist Private Well Owners”. If you have access to NEHA’s AEC program, you can see the presentation online.

Private Well Class To Attend Tribal Lands and Environment Forum

Water resources outreach specialist, Katie Hollenbeck from the Private Well Class is scheduled to attend the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum in Uncasville, Connecticut. Katie will be giving a presentation at the conference titled " - An Online Program for Educating Private Well Owners."

The conference will take place at the Mohegan Sun Resort from August 15-18, 2016. If any partners would like to connect with Katie at the conference, send her an email at 

Upcoming Webinars

Septic Systems 101
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 1PM CT
Hosted by

In this free 90-minute webinar training hosted by The Private Well Class you'll learn about septic system management as part of a larger strategy to protect the water in your private well. Plus, our guest expert Ronald Helton will provide answers to common questions, such as: 

What is safe to flush down my drains?
Do I need to put additives in my septic tank?
How do I prolong the life of my system?
We'd love your support in distributing this information, please feel free to share the following link:


What Water Testing Labs Need to Know about Private Wells
Wednesday, July 19, 2016 at 1PM CT
Co-hosted by and APHL

Do you receive questions from well owners that go beyond water quality? In this free 90-minute webinar training, hosted by The Private Well Class in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories, you'll learn the answers to the most common homeowner questions about groundwater and private wells, including:

Where can I learn more about well care?
Why do I even need to test my well water?
What do I do with my sample results?
We'd love your support in distributing this information, please feel free to share the following link:
Want to see what else we've got planned?
See the Webinar Schedule

Highlighted Resource

Well Water Manual
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

The purpose of this manual is to provide an individual with an understanding of water well construction practices and the regulation of water supplies in Michigan. Among the topics covered in the manual are: water supply regulations, hydrology, well construction methods, pump and pressure tank fundamentals, sampling and testing, and plugging abandoned wells. Most chapters contain an introduction, supporting text from various sources, and the corresponding rules in the Well Construction Code

Download here
Looking for something else? We link to a variety of helpful resources.
Browse our Class Resources

PWC Highlight: Page for Real Estate Professionals

The Private Well Class has a new live page geared towards real estate professionals and private wells.

The best way for realtors and real estate professionals to stay in touch is by joining our Partner Community of homeowner-serving professionals. It's completely free and there are no obligations associated with being a partner.

Sign up to become a real estate professional partner.

Featured Video: Private Water Wells: Water Quality Awareness

Over three million rural residents use a private water supply in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Commonwealth does not have any regulation on private water wells. Over 40% of these water supplies fail to meet basic drinking water standards. Volunteers in Penn State Extension's Master Well Owner Network are working to change that, teaching their neighbors how to protect and manage their private water supplies.

Click here to watch the video.
Have a great video? We're dedicated to bringing you helpful, entertaining, or inspiring videos to you. If your organization has a relevant video to share, let us know!

We Want to Promote Your Program

Does your organization, agency, or unit have any exciting news or other information (webinar, document, etc.) that you want to share? Here is your opportunity to be included!

Please send detailed information to by July 20, 2016 to be included in the August 1, 2016 newsletter. 

About is a free service for well owners, and those that work with them, to raise awareness of private well issues and help well owners understand their responsibilities in being a good steward of their well and water source. The Private Well Class is a collaboration between the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the University of Illinois, through the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois Water Resources Center, and funded by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Copyright © 2016, All rights reserved.
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Illinois State Water Survey
2204 Griffith Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

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