Wisconsin Well Water Testing Resource Sheet

Download TANS resource sheet with fill-ins_Nov2022

In 2017, UW-Madison Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) researchers and others published a paper entitled “Private-well stewardship among a general population based sample of private well owners.” The findings of this study were subsequently summarized and translated into a 3-page WPHRN research brief. The 2017 study found only ~10% of survey respondents (people in Wisconsin who drink private well water) tested their wells within the last 12 months as recommended by the Wisconsin DHS/DNR. SHOW looked at the reasons people cited for not testing their well water. “I don’t know how to have my well water tested” and “I don’t know what to test for” were among the top five reasons identified. These findings led to a WPHRN-SHOW collaboration to pursue additional funding and efforts to address the barriers of not knowing how to test and not knowing what to test for. An advisory team, including local and state agency represents, was created and informed the development of locally tailored resource sheets. Project staff have been reaching out to local health departments to verify the local information. A next step is to work with local health departments on dissemination efforts.

Preliminary results of an evaluation survey SHOW conducted in conjunction with the distribution of the resource sheet to SHOW participants indicate the resource sheet is achieving its desired outcomes. Some notable findings from evaluation survey responses are:

41.4% have NOT tested their well in the last 10 yrs

53.5% are NOW aware testing is recommended annually as a result of this factsheet, vs.
31.3% who were already aware testing was recommended annually, vs.
15.2% are still confused about testing recommendations

48.6% have the info they need to test their well as a result of the factsheet vs.
39.9% that already has the info they needed to test their well, vs.
11.5% who still do not feel they have the info they need

50.2% know where to find resources and info to answer their private well water questions as a result of the factsheet, vs.
40.1% that already knew the resources vs.
9.9% who still do not know where to find resources

44.0% plan to test their well in the next year as a result of the factsheet

A fillable well water testing resource sheet that can be tailored with your health department’s information is available at the link above. More information can also be found on the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin website.