CDC’s Private Well Initiative

The Unregulated Drinking Water Initiative (UDWI) is a national workgroup, formed in 2009 by the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, with membership from state health and environmental agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey, several universities, and national associations including the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The vision of the UDWI is that the 39 million Americans relying on private well systems will drink clean, safe water. The goals of the group are as follows:

  1. Develop and organize data, information, and knowledge about current status and conditions of private well systems.
  2. Develop means to inform public health practitioners and the public on issues associated with private well systems.
  3. Identify and recommend interventions to address public health issues associated with private well systems.
  4. Explore opportunities and approaches to continue to track private well system safety and implement the identified interventions.

The states of Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin Health Agencies are currently participating in pilot efforts to collect and try to normalize private well data from a variety of local sources that will seek to inform the UDWI at the national level.  These projects are aimed at fulfilling goal one above.  The CDC has issued a second Funding Opportunity Announcement that can be used for additional state pilot projects or to help current state pilot projects work toward accomplishing the second goal of the UDWI – to inform public health practitioners and the public about private well systems.  The deadline for applications is July 21, 2011.

For more information, please contact Nancy Goff of ASTHO’s Environmental Health team at or 571-522-2307.