Health Indicator Report of Private Well Usage: Self-Reported as Main Source of Drinking Water
Water is used for many purposes including drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and recreation. Because water use is so common in daily life, there are many opportunities for contaminated water to impact people. New Jersey has over 600 community water systems which provide drinking water to approximately 87% of the State's population. However, about 13 percent of New Jersey residents obtain their drinking water from private wells.
NotesSurvey question: "What is the main source of your home water supply: a city, county or town water system; a small water system operated by a home association; a private well serving your home; other source; don't know ?" This question was not used in 2012. Annually, 5 - 7% of survey respondents did not know or refused to report the source of their home water supply.
Data SourceBehavioral Risk Factor Survey, Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health, [http://www.state.nj.us/health/chs/njbrfs/]
Data Interpretation IssuesData from the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey are intended to represent non-institutionalized adults in households with telephones. Data are collected using a random sample of all possible telephone numbers throughout New Jersey. Prior to analysis, data are weighted to represent the population distribution of adults by age, sex, and "race"/ethnicity. As with all surveys, however, some residual bias may result from non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement error (e.g., social desirability or recall). Attempts are made to minimize such error by use of a strict calling protocol (up to 15 calls are made to reach each household), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision. Additional information on the BRFSS is found at [http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/annual_data/annual_2014.html]
DefinitionPercent of NJ residents self-reporting using and testing a private well as the main water source for their home.
NumeratorNumber of people age 18 years and older self-reporting using and testing a private well as main water source for their home.
DenominatorTotal number of persons aged 18 and older interviewed during the same survey period.
How Are We Doing?If you are a New Jersey resident who uses their own source of drinking water, like a well, cistern, or spring, you are responsible for protecting and monitoring your water supply. It is essential that you test your water periodically, and maintain your well. There are no federal or state regulations assuring the quality of the water consumed by NJ residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells. The New Jersey Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) assures that the purchasers and lessees of properties served by private potable wells are aware of the quality of their drinking water source prior to the sale or lease of a home or business. Sampling and testing must be conducted by certified laboratories.
Available ServicesIf your drinking water comes from a private well, you are responsible for testing. The NJDEP recommends that you use a laboratory that is NJDEP-certified. You can call the NJDEP Office of Quality Assurance at (609) 292-3950 for information on laboratories certified to test drinking water or look for the information online at: [https://www13.state.nj.us/DataMiner] using the "Search by Category" option, select "Certified Laboratories", and search for "Certified Drinking Water Labs", "PWTA Laboratories Certified for Sampling", or "Laboratories Certified by Parameter". Testing is required for sale of residential real estate when a private well is the source of drinking water. For more information, contact the NJDEP Private Well Testing Program at (866) 479-8378 or visit: [http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pw_pwta.html] Private Well Testing Act Frequently Asked Questions: [http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pwta/pwta_faq.htm] NJ Private Well Testing Act Data Summary, by county, municipality, and 2 mile by 2 mile grid: [http://arcg.is/1CPkHyC] NJDOH Drinking Water Facts: Private Wells, [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/eohap/pw_faq.pdf ] NJDOH Drinking Water and Public Health Project, [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/sanitation-safety/drinking-water-public-health/]
Page Content Updated On 01/26/2017, Published on 10/03/2017