Frequent Questions

Does the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulate private household drinking water wells?

The SDWA only applies to public water systems, not to private household drinking water wells. However, EPA does recommend that household well owners test annually for nitrates, total coliform bacteria, pH, and total dissolved solids.

Well owners should also check annually with a local agency such as a health or agricultural department to determine if there are any specific contaminants of concern in their local area (for example, pesticides or fertilizers). In addition, state or local government may regulate private wells.

Links to more information about private drinking water wells from your state can be accessed from our Private Drinking Water Wells in your State Web page.  Information is also available from non-profit organizations that work with private well owners, such as the Water Systems Council’s Wellcare Hotline, 1-888-395-1033.

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