The United States Census Bureau last collected drinking water source information in 1990. The trend from 1970 to 1990 showed a steady increase in the per capita use of private wells to supply drinking water to New Hampshire homes. In 1990, New Hampshire had the second highest number of private drinking water wells per capita (37.5 %) behind Maine (41.9%) and just ahead of Vermont (36.8%). The percentage of dug wells in New Hampshire was 9.3% ahead of the next closest state by over 3 percentage points (Vermont; 6.1%). Although the US Census unfortunately has not collected information on private drinking water supply in nearly 25 years, the predominately rural character of New Hampshire has not changed and private water wells continue to be a significant source of drinking water for a large portion of New Hampshire’s 1.3 million citizens.
Residential water wells are a healthy safe source of drinking water across most of New Hampshire (and New England). However, because residential wells are not regulated and actively monitored by any government agency it is important for home owners to understand the operation and maintenance processes needed to keep a water well functioning properly. When local issues with water quality or quantity arise private water well owners must be aware of appropriate water treatment options to correct the problem conditions.
In 2010 (the latest available data) the US Census reported that 18,900 existing homes and 1,890 new homes were sold in New Hampshire. From this backdrop it is clear that Realtors® can play a valuable and significant role during the property transaction process in helping homeowners learn the basics of water use and protection regarding private water wells. This January, American Ground Water Trust offered its long-running course for Realtors® entitled “Residential Water Wells and Drinking Water” to 65 members of the Lakes Region Board of Realtors® in Meredith, New Hampshire. The course is state-approved for realtor continuing education credits in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. The three-hour course covers the geology of ground water sources in these states, the types of substances one may find dissolved in New England groundwater, water treatment solutions and water consumption and on-site waste disposal options to keep residential groundwater/drinking water sources safe.
For more information on AGWT private water well workshops and courses please send an email by clicking on firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call us at 800-423-7748 between 9 and 4 Eastern Time.