Private Well Program to Protect Public Health – Synergy Initiative Round 5

Private Well Pilot Study to Advance Drinking Water Safety in Massachusetts
Amendment #844, Private Well Cleanup

RCAP Solutions received a Synergy Initiative Implementation Year 3 grant of $300,000 in 2024 for the Private Well Program to Protect Public Health.  The Private Well Program aims to promote better public health and safety for households relying on private wells for drinking water. An estimated 0.5 – 1 million Massachusetts residents rely on private wells for drinking water, but there are no minimum statewide regulations to test private wells for potential contaminants such as arsenic, E. coli, radon, and uranium. Currently, private wells are regulated by local Boards of Health, and the regulations are varied and often outdated or nonexistent.  This project aims to achieve minimum statewide regulations similar to Title 5 for septic systems which requires an inspection prior to the transfer of property. Given compelling evidence about the scope of drinking water contamination in private wells and growing concerns about PFAS (“forever chemicals”) contamination in drinking water, in 2024 the project will continue to focus efforts on advocacy. A coalition is working to build grassroots support for minimum statewide private well protections and direct outreach to legislators will also continue. The priority for 2024 will be securing the passage of An Act Promoting Drinking Water Quality For All (S.482/H.902).  

2024 – Implementation, Year 3 $300,000
2023 – Implementation, Year 2 $425,000
2022 – Implementation, Year 1 $425,000
2021 – Pilot Grant $425,000
2020 – Planning Grant $204,150
Total $1,779,150

Private Well Program Year 1 Evaluation, February 2023
Private Well Program Logic Model

New EPA rules to limit PFAS in drinking water: Worcester is meeting every standard
Telegram & Gazette, April 16, 2024

Everyone deserves safe drinking water
Boston Globe, October 15, 2023
Drinking water safety and health equity
WBZ What’s @ Risk? podcast, October 14, 2023
MA lawmakers consider requiring property owners to test well water before selling homes
Telegram & Gazette, September 26, 2023
Mass. could require testing private well water with real estate transfers
Telegram & Gazette, September 21, 2023
Poll Finds Strong Support for Efforts to Improve Quality and Safety of Private Well Drinking Water
MassINC Polling Group, September 20, 2023
Poll cited in push for private well water protections
WWLP 22, September 20, 2023
Poll Cited in Push for Private Well Water Protections
WRKO 680AM, September 20, 2023
Forum on PFAS in private wells highlights proposed EPA regs and state legislation
The Harvard Press, March 31, 2023
Harvard BOH Meeting – Private Wells/PFAS Forum
Harvard Cable TV, March 30, 2023
Private well owners stuck with costs to treat forever chemicals
WBUR, February 15, 2023
Well Water Testing on the Horizon in Mass
Telegram & Gazette, February 15, 2023
Bill introduced to regulate private water wells in Massachusetts
Spectrum News 1, January 31, 2023
◊ Colrain residents eligible for free well water tests
Greenfield Recorder, July 22, 2022
◊ Addressing the drinking water gap in Mass
CommonWealth Magazine, April 2, 2022
◊ Senator Eldridge files bill to regulate private wells
Community Advocate, February 8, 2022
◊ North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program Pilot Year Overview
RCAP Solutions Youtube Channel, June 21, 2021
◊ RCAP granted $196K to address North County drinking water issues
Worcester Business Journal, August 28, 2020