CDC Private Well Initiative Workgroup Call Held to Share Updates on Activities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Private Well Initiative Workgroup for Environmental Surveillance and Public Health (PWI) met this week to share updates on current activities.  The PWI 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 ASDWA.  Key discussion topics from the call included the following:

  • A subset of workgroup members are reviewing the data sets that were collected from selected states through a series of grants over the past two years.  These data sets describe private wells and private well water quality.  The purpose of this review is to ensure that the data sets are accurately described, identify missing variables, and help develop an inventory tool with contact persons to support users. CDC has also developed a new private well inventory form for entering new data into its database that is expected to be available this spring.
  • CDC expects to release a request for grant proposals in June 2013.  These grants would have a two year time period and seek to fund private well research on various topics including using groundwater and private well data to identify contamination problems in particular areas.  Eligible grant recipients include state and local government, and non-profits, and the projects could be national, state, or local in scope.
  • During the call, Steve Wilson of the Illinois State Water Survey also shared information about the new free online training program for private well owners.  This program was funded through the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) from EPA’s small system grant awards that were announced in August.  To view the tool, visit the web site at

For more information about the PWI workgroup, please contact Lorraine Backer of CDC at or 770-488-3426.