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