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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Health
to offer workshops on protecting private wells

Monthly sessions around Rhode Island begin in September

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 20, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and the Rhode Island Department of Health will host a series of workshops to teach homeowners and potential homeowners how to protect their wells and their drinking water.

The first will be held Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Hope Valley in cooperation with the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and the second on October 24 at 7 p.m. in cooperation with the Town of South Kingstown.

"Unlike homeowners who are connected to a municipal water supply, well owners are responsible for the quality of their own drinking water," explained Alyson McCann, workshop coordinator and a URI research associate. "But there’s no one to tell them when to test, how to monitor or how to take care of their wells."

The workshops will provide tips and practices for protecting wells. They will also address such topics as: where does your water come from, how do wells work, how and when should testing be conducted, and how does a well become contaminated.

According to McCann, the main issues to which homeowners should pay attention include the use of fertilizers and pesticides, septic system care, proper well construction and maintenance, siting of dog kennels, selection and maintenance of a water treatment system, and periodic water testing.

"Through regular testing of your well, you’ll have a history of your water quality so you can see trends and head off potential problems before they happen," she said.

These workshops are funded by the R.I. Department of Health’s Capacity Development Program.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Rhode Islanders who are building new homes that will have wells or those who are moving from a home with municipal water to a home with a well are especially encouraged to attend. McCann is also seeking municipalities or community groups interested in hosting a workshop. For more information, call 874-5398.

For Information: Alyson McCann 874-5398, Todd McLeish 874-7892

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