Americans who receive their water from municipal water systems generally feel confident trained employees are monitoring water conditions regularly and taking steps to make water supplies useable. But people who depend on well water because they live in the country or other areas not served by water systems should take their own precautions.

“Folks who use well water should have a certified or licensed water well system contractor conduct a flow test, check water levels and test for certain types of bacteria, nitrates and anything of local concern,” says Cliff Treyens, National Ground Water Association public awareness director.

 In addition, homeowners and other individuals need to be aware of the dangers posed by abandoned wells and keep hazardous chemicals, septic systems and kennels or livestock operations at least 50 feet away from their wells. Treyens also said it’s important to keep an eye on the cap or cover that seals a well to ensure it is securely attached and prevents insects, rodents and other pests from entering.

These tips and other resources, such as locating an NGWA certified- or member-contractor, can be found at www.wellowner.org.