“A number of areas in the State, including areas in Dutchess County, have experienced well contamination, creating health risks for residents in those areas,” said Senator Saland. “I have previously passed legislation in the Senate to address the testing of private wells. As a result of negotiations with the Assembly sponsor of a well testing bill that passed the Assembly, agreement was reached on this measure which was a major component of both bills. This bill focuses on the education of the public which is a significant step to encourage homeowners to regularly test their private well water, and that more extensive and sophisticated testing may be necessary to determine the presence of certain contaminants.”
In the bill, the State Department of Health would provide the public with educational materials containing information on potential contaminants and migration of contamination in groundwater. It requires the distribution of these materials, not only through the Department’s website, but through licensed home inspectors and real estate agents. Homeowners would also be advised that well water should be tested regularly by a certified lab. This bill would not mandate costly tests on all homeowners with private wells, but educate homeowners to the potential risk and provide them with the ability to make informed decisions.
“While negotiations will continue, the enactment of the Well Testing Education Act is a significant step and hopefully the catalyst to further agreement,” Saland concluded.
The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.