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Wake County News > Posts > ​Wake County Launches Outreach Campaign to Educate Residents about Contaminants in Private Wells
June 24
​Wake County Launches Outreach Campaign to Educate Residents about Contaminants in Private Wells

Up to 6,000 wells in the eastern half of Wake County may be affected

Wake County kicked off an educational outreach campaign on Monday, June 24, to inform residents in the eastern half of the county about unsafe levels of uranium, radon and radium found in privately owned well water. One in five wells may be affected.

Naturally occurring in the underground rock, these elements may cause significant health problems. In the short term, that may include kidney toxicity. In the long term, these contaminants may increase the risk of certain cancers.

Private well owners are responsible for the regular maintenance and testing of their water supply. Wake County is launching this outreach campaign because, as a local health department, the county has a statutory responsibility to promote and safeguard public health.

“We’re giving residents the information and tools they need to make smart decisions about the safety of their well water,” said Groundwater Protection and Wells Manager Evan Kane. “Just because your well water doesn’t look, smell or taste funny, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink.”

Wake County’s outreach efforts include:

  • Mailing approximately 19,000 notices to private well owners and users in the affected area. Written in English and Spanish, the mailers contain all the information residents need to decide what actions to take to determine if their wells are impacted.
     
  • Hosting community meetings to inform residents and answer their questions.
     
  • Connecting residents with more information via a new Wake County website: wakegov.com/wells. It includes an interactive map where residents can enter their address and learn if they live in the affected area.
     
  • Providing a dedicated 24-hour, bilingual hotline at 919-893-WELL.
     
  • Compiling a list of state-certified labs that offer retail well water testing, which is the only way to determine whether water has unsafe levels of contamination.
     
  • Offering our most vulnerable residents reduced testing rates. For households with incomes up to 2.5 times the federal poverty level, Wake County will provide testing for as little as $73.

This campaign is aimed at educating people who get water from a private well. If residents currently pay a water bill, their water system is already being tested.

As always, if residents have health concerns, they should contact their medical provider.

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