Bringing a Public Water Quality Ethic to Private Well Ownership

Home / Bringing a Public Water Quality Ethic to Private Well Ownership

A New Water Ethic: For The Social Good

We are advocating for a moral responsibility for safe, clean drinking water. A water ethic is simply about caring: about people, about water, and about strengthening our relationship between them. When we see water as a community, as a mutual benefit for the good of all, it changes how we need to approach meeting the public health challenges of protecting private wells. Drinking water quality has a direct influence on public health.  By embracing a new water ethic, together we can reduce health risks associated with contaminated drinking water for all people.  


Groundwater is one of our most important natural resources and the main source of drinking water for mostly-rural populations that supply their own domestic water from local wells. About 50 million Americans supply their own drinking water and over 99 percent of that water comes from groundwater. The quality and safety of water in these wells is an issue of concern. According to our own research, and validated by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study results, 1 in 4 private wells tested had at least one contaminant with health risks.

SafeWell Well Water Testing Specialists

Everyone Deserves Safe Drinking Water. This includes Private Well Owners.

SafeWell Well Water Testing Specialists

The Challenge

Little is known about the quality of water from unregulated private wells and the potential impact on human health. While public water systems must comply with EPA regulations for water testing and treatment on a daily/monthly basis, private well owners have to bear the responsibility for testing and treating their private water supply.

Health effects associated with exposure to drinking water contaminants can include endocrine disruption, cancer, liver and kidney problems, gastrointestinal illness, reproductive issues, and neurological disorders. Water-related diseases pose not only a physical burden to people sickened by contaminated water, but also a substantial burden in healthcare costs which greatly affects all of us.

Private well testing in the U.S. is a complicated and frustrating process and private well users are not afforded the same protections from contaminant exposure as public water supply users. While much attention and resources are given to public water users, private well owners have largely been ignored. 

The Solution

Active Community engagement and collective action partnerships are essential for a water quality ethic. Protecting well water requires stewardship beyond the common goal of reducing health risks associated with contaminated drinking water. This stewardship needs to be inspired by a new water ethic. 

Water is an essential common good of humankind. This is the basis for reciprocal cooperation towards a water ethic for both public and private well water users alike. Respect for the quality of life and the dignity of the human person lie at the heart of our water ethic. 

SafeWell Well Water Testing Specialists

SafeWell Well Water Testing Specialists

SafeWell has taken the initiative to be the leader in bringing a public water quality ethic to private well ownership.  It's our mission to actively engage with key partners in the community to improve the quality of drinking water for private well owners.

If you're a real estate professional who values reducing health risks associated with contaminated drinking water, we encourage you to click the button below to learn more about becoming one of our Safe Well Ambassasdors. We want to recognize you for your commitment and efforts in recommending to your clients who are purchasing a home with a well to always test the water for contamination. 

Become a Safe Well Ambassador