The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has designated March 13 as “Know Your Well Day” in an effort to encourage private water well owners to regularly test their water.
More than 72 percent of Wyomingites depend on groundwater for part or all of their drinking water needs. In Wyoming, there are as many as 900,000 private wells. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Keith Guille said because there is no state or federal agency that regulates water quality in private wells, it’s important that landowners regularly inspect, maintain, and sample their wells.
“Because it’s in the ground doesn’t mean that it’s pure,” said Guille. “Many times there’s natural occurring elements within groundwater that can have an issue towards your health, so you need to know what those background levels are prior to consumption.”
Potential threats to groundwater include bacteria, viruses, methane, or contaminants from nearby oil and gas development or landfills. Testing resources and information can be found at the DEQ’s website knowyourwell.org.