Maegen N. McCaffrey
Chief Communications Officer
(978) 630-6714/Cell: (617) 974-2579
The North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program is actively seeking homeowners with private wells in the communities of Berlin, Bolton, Boxborough, Hubbardston, Princeton, and Sterling who are interested in learning more about the quality of their water, the condition of their wells, and how to remediate contamination of their wells.
The Private Well Program is a community partnership created by RCAP Solutions, funded by a Synergy Initiative grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts to address drinking water issues in the Northern Central Massachusetts area totaling $629,000 to date. Now in its pilot year, the program is working with local Boards of Health and other regional and statewide partners to promote better public health and safety for households with private wells.
During the next six months, RCAP Solutions is focusing on the six designated communities to provide complimentary well assessments and testing to identify contamination and provide public education services to residents. This includes a limited number of private well assessments, water testing, and additional resources for well owners. The goal of the pilot program is to assess 40 private wells in each of six the selected towns, for a total of 240 assessments to be completed in 2021.
A second phase of this effort will include public education, advocacy for local and statewide private well regulations that better protect homeowners and communities and that are on par with regulations for public water systems, and identification of financial resources for homeowners needing well remediation. Unlike public drinking water systems, private wells do not have experts regularly checking the water’s source and its quality before it is sent to the tap. Households that use private wells should take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of their drinking water. Potential contaminants such as arsenic, radon, and uranium can have both short and long-term health impacts.
The RCAP staff provides homeowners with a free, on-site professional review of their well head and recharge area. The staff adheres to strict social distancing practices to keep the homeowners feeling comfortable and safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The assessment concludes with a complimentary water test from a state-certified lab, which otherwise can be a costly and time-consuming procedure. The water quality analysis tests for the following contaminants: Arsenic, Chloride, Copper, Fluoride, Hardness, Iron, Lead, Manganese, pH, Sodium, Coliform Bacteria, Nitrate/Nitrite, Uranium, and Radon. Interested homeowners can visit www.rcapsolutions.org/ma-private-wells for additional information and to request a well assessment.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts in this important public health project,” stated Karen A. Koller, President & CEO of RCAP Solutions. “Because there are no state-wide regulations surrounding private well maintenance, it’s critical that homeowners in North Central Massachusetts, and across the state, understand the importance of regular assessments and water testing. We are pleased to be able to fulfill our mission and meet the needs of rural communities by providing this valuable technical assistance to private well owners.”
Dr. Jan Yost, President & CEO of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, added, “The Foundation is pleased to continue its support of this important project that seeks to improve private well water quality through increased knowledge and enhanced local and statewide regulations to protect the public’s health. The project’s pilot this year is an important step towards ensuring that private well owners have access to clean and safe drinking water free of harmful contaminants, which is essential to good health. ”
RCAP Solutions is working closely with the Montachusett Public Health Network and the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health to assist communities with promotional efforts and to ensure positive outcomes for homeowners. In addition, RCAP is collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and ongoing efforts to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water.
For more information about the North Central Massachusetts Private Well Program, or to request a private well assessment, please visit:
About RCAP Solutions, Inc.
RCAP Solutions is a thriving integrated community development corporation working with a multi-faceted suite of services and opportunities. Established in 1969, RCAP Solutions’ mission is to foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and the communities in which they live. For more information, please visit www.rcapsolutions.org.
About The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts
The Foundation was established in 1999 with the proceeds from the sale of Central Massachusetts Health Care, Inc., a physician-initiated, not-for-profit HMO. As of March 2021, the Foundation has assets of around $90 million and has awarded grants totaling approximately $48 million to improve the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts. For further information about the Foundation’s grant programs, please visit the Foundation’s website at www.hfcm.org.