Sep 01, 2015

Water Systems Council Receives EPA Grant for Educational Assistance to Well Owners

The organization received $211,794 of the $1.7 million grant provided to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership

Water Systems Council EPA grant water well education

The Water Systems Council has received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide technical assistance, training, and educational programs to owners of private and small community water wells.

The Water Systems Council (WSC) has received $211,794 of the $1.7 million "Improving Water Quality through Training and Technical Assistance to Private Well Owners" grant provided to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership by the EPA.

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 National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA).

"Since 1932, WSC has been committed to ensuring that Americans who depend on water wells have safe, reliable drinking water," said Margaret Martens, WSC executive director. "The EPA grant will enable us to expand our efforts to educate well owners, consumers and policymakers about water wells and the importance of protecting America's groundwater resources."

WSC will use the grant monies to provide the following services over the next 18 months:

  • Expansion of wellcare Hotline - enables EPA and others to refer water well owners to WSC's established toll free hotline that provides advice on protecting, maintaining, testing and conserving drinking well water supplies;
  • HELP System for Emergency Response - a targeted program to inform private well owners of response measures in the event of an emergency or natural disaster that threatens safe drinking water supplies;
  • Well Owner's Manual - production of new Well Owner's Manual with information on well maintenance and water quality;
  • Who Owns the Water Special Report - updating a special regulatory report, Who Owns the Water, to be distributed to Water Resources Departments within each state, EPA regional offices, and other state agencies that deal with well permitting in each state; and
  • Well Owner Outreach - increasing awareness of the wellcare Hotline and well owner educational materials, including information sheets on well construction, maintenance and protection, water quality testing and contaminants, and groundwater protection.