Privately owned domestic wells provide water to hundreds of millions of people around the world. They are the most common type of water supply used in rural areas where public water supplies are not available. Because they are privately owned, and often located in sparsely populated areas, they are difficult to monitor and protect. Domestic wells are largely unregulated, except for their initial construction, and it is the responsibility of the well owner to maintain their well and ensure the water is safe to drink.
Unfortunately, many domestic well owners do not have the resources to protect their well or regularly test their water quality. As a result, domestic wells are the most common way for people to be exposed to groundwater contaminants. Despite these risks, the majority of domestic wells provide safe and reliable water supplies. Where public water supplies are not available, domestic wells are usually the best water supply option, as long as they are properly constructed, located away from contaminant sources, and regularly maintained and monitored.
This book provides an introduction to domestic wells, including their construction, regulation, vulnerability, protection, and the valuable data they can provide for groundwater research. It is part of a series of books on domestic wells, each of which provide greater detail on the domestic well topics that are covered at an introductory level here.
This book focuses on domestic wells in Canada and the United States, although some information from other countries is presented. This book is primarily written for students, groundwater professionals, and policy makers with a background in water science and a professional interest in domestic wells.