We have a private well. What are some things we can do to protect our drinking water?


Living in a rural area can mean taking on more personal responsibility in many areas of life. One of those includes your private well that provides your drinking water. Since no other agency is responsible, it is up to you to maintain and protect your well. At the very minimum you should:

  • Test annually for nitrates and bacteria. A pesticide screening can also give you useful information.
  • You should also test at least once for Lead.
  • Make sure your well is properly constructed with no cracks in the well casing.
  • Maintain safe distances from your well to other potential contaminant sources such as your septic system and fuel storage.
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped every three to five years.
  • Take a few hours today to complete either the Home*A*Syst or Indiana Farmstead Assessment program. These programs will help you answer many questions, including those above. Both programs are a service of Purdue Extension for you to use in protecting your drinking water and keeping your home safe and healthy.
Well Disinfection

If your well tests positive for bacteria, one recommended solution is to shock chlorinate the well and plumbing systems.
Follow this informative guide on well disinfection from IDEM.



For more information contact Jane Frankenberger (frankenb@purdue.edu)