Action Steps

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• The well casing needs to stick up above the ground, up to 12 inches but local rules vary. Your local or state health department has the information.

• There should be no gaps or spaces between the well casing and the material or soil around it.

• Make sure the casing does not have holes or cracks.

• Does the well cap fit tightly? Are any openings or vents covered by a screen?

• Be sure there is not a low area near the well where rainwater can collect. Rainwater carrying pollutants can get into well water.

• Don't keep gas, oil, weed killer, or other chemicals in your well house.

Do you have unused wells on your property? Unused wells that have not been properly filled and capped can let pollution into groundwater and make your drinking water unsafe. If you have an unused well, ask your local or state health department how to seal it.

Use devices on the ends of faucets to keep water from flowing back into your water supply. These are called back flow prevention devices. They help keep pollutants from washing back into the hose and into your drinking water.

What kind of pipes do you have? See the section on "Clear the Pipes" on page 34 to find out how to make sure harmful metals are not getting into your drinking water from your pipes.

95% of people living in rural areas drink water from private sources.

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