The U.S. government estimates that more than 13 million American households rely on private wells for drinking water (U.S. Census American Housing Survey 2017). These wells are generally subject to little or no government regulation, making it essential that their owners understand how to test for and treat potential contaminants in their well water.
Be Well Informed is designed to help private well water owners understand their water test results. If their well water contains pollutants, the Be Well Informed application provides information about health concerns and water treatment choices relevant to their state, tribe, or territory. This information is easily accessible through a simple, open-access web application.
- Accessibility: Provides consistent, timely, and actionable information to the public, including specific geographic resources
- Public Health: Helps states, tribes, and territories create customized lists with clear explanations of health concerns and treatment options for chemicals and microbial contaminants
- Costs and Timing: Minimizes state and local government development costs and reduces time to market by providing a customizable shared service
- Data and Decision-Making: Makes reading complicated laboratory results much easier for private well owners and helps them make more informed decisions about the need for additional testing or treatment
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) developed the initial Be Well Informed application with funding support from the Centers for Disease Control. NHDES then worked with E-Enterprise for the Environment following its release to modify the tool as a customizable shared service.
To date, Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, as well as Wake County, North Carolina, have officially adopted and tailored the tool to their jurisdictions. Other states, including Connecticut and Vermont, are testing the application and expect to publish their information to the app in the future.
The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) began hosting this application in late 2020. To access the Be Well Informed app, go to https://www.bewellinformed.info in your web browser. There is no cost or login required — just click and go.
In 2022, ECOS will work with current users of Be Well Informed and EPA’s Office of Water to improve the website with a new design and functionality. The new site will support a broader group of contaminants — including Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) — and will offer an enhanced user experience with new features and a more intuitive design.
If you are a government agency interested in partnering with Be Well Informed, visit this page. You can also reach out to Kurt Rakouskas at ECOS.
If you are a well owner interested in accessing Be Well Informed, click here.