In April, 2014, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a how-to video to clarify the procedures of a water test for people who rely on a private, domestic well for drinking water.
Available on YouTube, and on DVD by request, the 3-minute video shows all the steps involved in a water test and emphasizes the most important things private well owners should know when testing their well water.
The Maine CDC recommends well owners do a basic water test every year for bacteria, nitrate, and nitrite. In addition, the Maine CDC recommends a comprehensive test every 3 to 5 years to check for naturally occurring chemicals, including arsenic, uranium, radon, and fluoride, that are often found in private well water in Maine at levels that exceed public health guidelines.
In fact, an estimated 10% of private wells in Maine have arsenic levels that exceed the health guideline of 10 parts per billion; however, only 45% of households with a private well have tested the water for arsenic.
New federal funding is helping the Maine CDC reach out to well owners in high-risk areas and encourage them to test their well water. The video is supporting this effort, and has quickly become one of the most viewed videos on the Maine CDC YouTube channel.