Feb 03, 2015

NGWA Launches Water Well Owner Training & Technical Assistance

The National Ground Water Assn. is launching training and assistance for water well owners

The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) is part of a team selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide training and technical assistance to private household water well owners nationwide.

NGWA will create new water well owner training and technical assistance programs, as well as build upon programs initiated under a one-year grant completed last August. NGWA will receive about $209,000 of the total $1.7 million grant. Work is expected to begin in the spring.

Leading the team will be the Rural Community Assistance Partnership. Other grant partners include the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Environmental Health Assn. and the Water Systems Council.

“NGWA has long been committed to helping private well owners protect their health by being good stewards of the groundwater and their well systems,” said Cliff Treyens, NGWA public awareness director. “This support by the U.S. EPA is a great help. As the leading association of groundwater professionals, NGWA will bring to bear its experience and expertise to gain new ground in helping private well owners across America."

NGWA’s activities under the grant will include:

  • Online lessons: Twelve new online lessons, free to well owners, will be developed to supplement the 15 lessons created under the previous grant; the new lessons will instruct well owners on detecting and treating various water quality problems.
  • Webinars: Ten new webinars, also free to well owners, will be developed to supplement the eight webinars created under the previous grant; the new webinars also will address detecting and treating various water quality problems.
  • New private well owner app: An app will be created that will provide important tips and self-reminders to well owners to prompt them to action.
  • Private well owner tip sheet: An electronic tip sheet with helpful information about protecting well water quality, produced and distributed free to subscribers, originally started under the previous grant, will be resumed.
  • Financing guide: A well owner guide to financing water well maintenance or installation of a new well system, in both digital and hard copy formats, will be developed.
  • Well owner’s manual: A simple, brief manual on well ownership that includes a maintenance log will be created.
  • Year-round campaign: Efforts to make well owners aware of new and existing grant-supported training and technical assistance tools will be undertaken through a year-round campaign involving National Groundwater Awareness Week and Protect Your Groundwater Day events, as well as monthly releases distributed to news media nationwide.
  • Marketing: A significant marketing effort involving print advertising, television coverage and syndicated distribution of news to promote free well owner training and technical assistance will be produced under the grant.

In addition to creating new and expanding existing training and technical assistance programs, Treyens said NGWA and the grant team will have significant new support for making well owners aware of the tools and information at their disposal. “The challenge always has been not only to package information for well owners, but to connect them to that information. This grant will help us make real progress marketing the information to well owners so they can use it to protect their water quality,” he said.