UL Offers DrinkWell[TM] Water-Testing Service to Private Well Owners

Journal of Environmental Health, November 2004 | Go to article overview

UL Offers DrinkWell[TM] Water-Testing Service to Private Well Owners


A new well water-testing service is helping safeguard the water supplies of the 53 million Americans who get drinking water from private wells.

"Private wells generally draw water from unprotected watersheds that may be vulnerable to contamination from chemicals, gasoline, pesticides, and bacteria, to name a few," said Ann Marie Gebhart, global business manager of water quality testing at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).

Unlike municipal water supplies, private wells are not regulated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, she pointed out. "Instead, private well owners are responsible for monitoring the water quality of their wells. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises testing private wells annually, only about 5 percent of private wells are tested each year," she said.

This low level of testing is alarming, considering that each year between 50 and 1,200 people die in the United States from waterborne diseases, mostly caused by microbial organisms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that an additional 200,000 to 1.3 million people are made ill from contaminated drinking water.

To help busy families identify potential drinking-water hazards, UL now offers an easy-to-use, Web-based well water-testing service called DrinkWell.

DrinkWell tests for as many as 93 contaminants, including bacteria such as E. …

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