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Social Dimensions of Private Well Testing: Why Don’t People Test their Well Water?
Liukkonen, Barbara; Severtson, Lori; Kline-Robach, Ruth (St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service, 2009)
 

Title 
Social Dimensions of Private Well Testing: Why Don’t People Test their Well Water?

Issue Date
2009-10

Publisher
St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service

Type
Presentation

Abstract
In March 2007, 2600 surveys about well water testing were mailed to private well owners in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Goals of the study were to learn what well owners need to make informed decisions and to understand social factors that explain well-testing behavior. The survey (43 questions) assessed water use, testing behaviors, perceptions about risk, reasons for testing/not testing, and preferences for getting information. Results (68% response rate) indicated most respondents felt their well water was safe or very safe (67%). Over 50% were not worried about the safety of their water; however, 48% believed there was a serious or very serious problem with ground water safety in their township. About 20% of respondents had never had their well water tested. People said they would get their water tested if they learned that a neighbor’s well was contaminated (86%), if there was a change in taste or appearance (86%), or if their family had unexplained health problems (63%). The most common reasons for not testing well water were “have been drinking it years without problems” (53%), “don’t know what to test for” (41%), and “don’t know how to test” (35%). Results suggest strategies for providing information to private well owners and coordinating water testing clinics.

Appears in Collection(s)

Sponsorship
Funding from Extension Great Lakes Regional Water Program, 2006-2008Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program, Medical College of WisconsinImpacts

Suggested Citation
Liukkonen, Barbara; Severtson, Lori; Kline-Robach, Ruth. (2009). Social Dimensions of Private Well Testing: Why Don’t People Test their Well Water?. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://purl.umn.edu/58540.


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