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E-M:/ FW: [ENVIRO-NEWS] USGS and CDC Release On-Line Report on Water Quality in Domestic Wells

Enviro-Mich message from "harrisc" <Craig.Harris@ssc.msu.edu>

does anyone know why michigan is not participating in this usgs-cdc program
. . . 
i have heard people say that michigan has one of the highest percentages of
domestic drinking water wells in the country . . . 

craig k harris
department of sociology
michigan agricultural experiment station
national food safety and toxicology center
institute for food and agricultural standards
michigan state university

USGS and CDC Release On-Line Report on Water Quality in Domestic Wells

USGS, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), has released an online report on the occurrence of 11 priority
water-quality constituents of possible health concern in domestic wells
located in 16 States across the U.S. ( http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5213/

Measures of  water-quality, water use, and other geospatial data (such as
for land use and hydrogeology) are compiled, mapped and tabulated for each
of the 16 States that are participating in CDC's Environmental Public Health
Tracking Program (EPHT).  A brief summary is provided, also by State, on the
occurrence of the water-quality constituents and comparisons of their
concentrations to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) human-health
water-quality benchmarks. Findings can be used to highlight general
geographic areas within the States where concentrations may be of potential
human-health concern.

The States include California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts,
Maryland, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The overall purpose of the study is to demonstrate through a pilot effort
how USGS water-quality, water-use, and associated geospatial data can be
integrated in the CDC EPHT network, which is a relatively new nationwide,
network of  existing  health and environmental data bases that are being
used to drive actions to improve the health of communities. For more
information on the breadth of the network, access:
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/tracking/ .

Ground-water quality in domestic wells is just one of many indicators
tracked in the EPHT network. About 17 million privately owned wells across
the U.S supply water to individual households for drinking water and other
household needs, serving about 15 percent of the population or more than 43
million Americans.

Monitoring the quality of water from domestic wells is primarily the well
owner's responsibility as such monitoring is not required under the federal
Safe Drinking Water Act (which focuses on public-water supplies).
Comprehensive and consistent data on the quality of this resource is
therefore limited, for many reasons, including the voluntary nature of
testing for a limited number of constituents and a relatively small number
of wells.

The 11 water-quality constituents selected for the pilot study (primarily on
the basis of expected occurrence and potential human health impacts)
included arsenic, atrazine, benzene, deethylatrazine, manganese, nitrate,
perchloroethene (PCE), radon, strontium, trichloroethene (TCE), and uranium.
USGS samples were collected using nationally consistent field and analytical

Overall,  inorganic constituents, including radon, arsenic, manganese,
nitrate, strontium and uranium, had the largest percentages of samples with
concentrations greater than their human-health benchmarks. With the
exception of nitrate, these constituents are mostly of natural origin.
In contrast, organic compounds (such as pesticides and volatile organic
compounds), whose occurrence in ground water is usually related to human
activities, had the lowest percent of samples with concentrations greater
than human-health benchmarks.

The newly released study, titled " Summary of Selected U.S. Geological
Survey Data on Domestic Well Water Quality for the Centers for Disease
Control's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program" by Roy C.
Bartholomay, Janet M. Carter, Sharon L. Qi, Paul J. Squillace, and Gary L.
Rowe is available online at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5213/
Also available online are individual State summaries that include summary
tables, graphs, and maps of the water-quality data done for each State.

USGS anticipates the release of a comprehensive national analysis of
domestic wells in Summer 2008, based on samples collected from 2,171 wells
by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The wells
extend across the U.S., including in 48 of 50 States, and represent 31 of
the Nation's 62 principal aquifers used for water supply, irrigation, and
other uses. The occurrence and distribution of domestic well quality will be
described at the national scale, as well as regionally by principal
aquifers. The USGS study will cover 219 physical properties, major inorganic
constituents, nutrients, trace elements, organic compounds, radionuclides,
and investigate the co-occurrence and common mixtures of constituents of
potential human health concern. For more information, access:
http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/qw_domestic_wells.pdf .

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