By Kimberly Mazza
In recognition of the importance of groundwater to the citizens of the state and in conjunction with the National Groundwater Association “Groundwater Awareness Week”, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Water Quality Division (WQD) has designated March 13th as “Know Your Well Day.”
Over 72 percent of Wyoming’s population relies on groundwater for part or all of their drinking water supply. There are more than 90,000 private wells in Wyoming. There is no State or Federal agency that regulates water quality in private wells; therefore, it is important for private well owners to regularly inspect, maintain, and sample their wells, and to be aware of potential threats to groundwater nearby and on their property.
Water quality varies considerably across the State and is influenced by naturally occurring constituents such as sulfates, sodium, total dissolved solids, or iron. Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations Chapter 8 Table 1 lists constituents used to classify groundwater for use suitability. In addition, groundwater quality can be impacted by waste disposal practices, land use practices, spills, or leaks.
Wylee Rizzitello, DEQ Groundwater Section Project Manager for the Know Your Well Program, said the DEQ will be sharing information through social media posts March 13 – 17. “The Know Your Well Program exists to provide information through various mediums to reach as many private well owners as possible. The public is encouraged to view the posts that will be not only informative but fun,” she said.
Additionally, more information regarding drinking water wells, common contaminants, water well testing, and other information resources pertaining to groundwater can be found by visiting the DEQ’s “Know Your Well” website at www.knowyourwell.org.