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Wake County offering free well water tests

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Through Feb. 29, Wake County is offering free water testing for lower-income homeowners and renters who get their water from a private well.

To qualify, families may have incomes up to 2.5-times the federal poverty level. For an individual living alone, the limit is $31,225, and a family of four may earn up to $64,375. A full table of qualifying incomes is available online.

“Ordinarily, these well water tests would cost hundreds of dollars to purchase,” Groundwater Protection and Wells Manager Evan Kane said. “This is an outstanding opportunity for families to make sure there’s nothing amiss with the water they use every day for drinking, bathing, cooking and more.”

To apply for financial help, residents will need to complete a request for testing and an affidavit attesting to their eligibility under the income requirements. Affidavits must be notarized by a registered notary public.

To make the application process quick and easy, residents may stop by one of Wake County’s regional centers. Staff will have forms on hand, and notaries are available on-site to certify affidavits free of charge.

The following locations are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

• Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon.

• Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest.

• Southern Regional Center, 130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina.

Once Wake County staff are ready to collect well water samples, residents will be notified via the phone number listed on their application.

Residents may also apply without visiting a regional center. Forms and affidavits are available online as PDF files in English and Spanish. The N.C. Secretary of State maintains an online database of local notaries.

Completed and notarized materials should be mailed to Wake County Environmental Services, Well Testing, P.O. Box 550, Raleigh, N.C., 27602.

Ongoing Outreach Campaign

Last summer, Wake County kicked off an educational outreach campaign to inform residents in the eastern half of the county about unsafe levels of uranium, radon and radium found in privately-owned well water. One in five wells may be affected.

Naturally-occurring in the underground rock, these elements may cause significant health problems. In the short term, that may include kidney toxicity. In the long term, these contaminants may increase the risk of certain cancers.

Outreach began with a notification mailed to more than 19,000 private well owners and users, and the effort has continued through regular community meetings that provide face-to-face consultations with county groundwater experts. Wake County also created a website at and a phone number, 919-893-WELL, to connect residents with the information they need to make decisions regarding their well water.

Private well owners are responsible for the regular maintenance and testing of their water supply. Wake County has a statutory responsibility to promote and safeguard public health.

The campaign is aimed at educating people who get water from a private well. If residents currently pay a water bill, their water system is already being tested.

If residents have health concerns, they should contact their medical provider.