Well Water Quality
Private wells comprise over three-fourths of single-family homes in Oconee County. Presently, countless wells and wellhouses for individual families have become an out of sight, out of mind structure that serves no purpose until the water is unavailable or serious issues occur that cause a significant quality problem. In addition, many homes that are bought and sold must have a satisfactory well water quality report for ownership changes. In December 2017, UGA water specialists and Extension agents formed an Extension Well Water Team to address local and state well water issues. The team developed an educational program that could be delivered to local citizens to educate them about underground aquifers, well head protection, and water quality issues that affect local homeowners. Over the past three years Oconee County Extension conducted a yearly well water training for local home owners to have a better understanding of issues related to household wells and how to address them appropriately and effectively. In addition, the Extension agent has done wellhouse assessments, well water quality checks and partnered with a local well water drilling company to help educate local citizens. Over 85 percent of clients that use Extension services stated that they have learned how to properly shock existing wells and test for total coliform and E.coli; and 75 percent of homeowners learned how to effectively evaluate well head from potential breech. Over 80 percent of class participants stated that they would test their wells once a year for quality standards for minerals and microbiology. Over 60 participants have received proper education of private wellheads and well water diagnosis.