What's in your well?

 

Jerry Moore: The Department of Pesticide Regulation Groundwater Monitoring Program and Groundwater Protection’s main mission is to determine whether or not pesticides, through normal use are impacting groundwater across our state and if so, determine methods that farmers and homeowners can use to protect their well water. This program is voluntary. It has been in place since nineteen ninety-one and to date we have tested over two thousand wells. We test each well for pesticides and nitrate nitrogen, which is a common component in fertilizer as well as organic materials.

The bulk of wells that we have tested have not had any pesticides in them and the ones that we have found, the concentrations have been predominantly very low and below the drinking water standard. Some of the best management practices that we use and recommend are one: establish a well-head protection zone around your well-house. This is just an area where you do not store any pesticides or do any mixing and loading of pesticides or store fertilizer or any other chemical that may be spilled could possibly run down your well. We also recommend that you have your soil tested each year and follow the fertilizer recommendations. This not only can protect your well-water, it can also save you money in the long run. The number one best management practice is always follow the labeled directions on your pesticide container. This is not only the law, but it is also the best method that you can use to protect yourself and your water resources from pesticide contamination.