MARSHALL COUNTY - It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of Marshall County residents receive their drinking water from private, domestic water wells.
The water quality in private wells, and cisterns, is not regulated by the state of Kentucky or the US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Individuals using private wells for drinking water must take precautions to ensure the safety and maintenance of their drinking water sources.
Under Kentucky law, all domestic water wells must be installed by a certified well driller. However, once the driller turns the well over to the owner, then the maintenance of the well is the owner’s responsibility.
Many well owners do not realize the Kentucky Division of Water recommends routine well maintenance and disinfection to identify potential concerns with the well to help prolong the useful life of the well. Briefly, some of these recommendations include:
Visual assessment of the well and surrounding area
- to ensure debris is not near the wellhead
- to make sure the ground around the well is graded so that all surface water is directed away from the well casing
- to identify any visible damage to the well casing
Well Disinfection also called shock chlorination, ‘is a technique that helps keep water from properly constructed wells, a safe and dependable source of drinking water. It also helps reduce nuisance problems such as staining or odors.’ This is an inexpensive procedure that most well owners can perform themselves by using chlorine bleach.
Routine Water Testing Having your well tested routinely for the presence of coliform bacteria is recommended to gauge the bacterial quality of the water in your well. Testing, along with disinfection, can help identify conditions with the well that could cause diminished water quality.
If you are interested in having a bacterial analysis of your private well water, please visit the Marshall County Health Department at 307 E. 12th Street in Benton. The cost for initial analysis is $15 per sample.
If you have questions about private water wells, please contact Wendy or Robert at the Marshall County Health Department’s Western Kentucky Regional Lab at 270-437-4800.