Dr. Janick Artiola, University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Research Translation Investigator and Extension Water Quality Specialist, has been providing workshops to private well owners since 2009. Artiola is part of a team that delivers these free workshops as part of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALs) Cooperative Extension mission. Retired local well driller, Gary Hix, and former UA Extension Agent, Kristin Uhlman make up the rest of the team. The workshops provide information to private well owners on regional geology and groundwater hydrology, general well maintenance, groundwater contaminants, water quality and testing recommendations, and water treatment options.
The popularity and need for these workshops is evidenced by a recent one-year, $55,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) in the form of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interagency Service Agreement entitled: “Environmental Health Services Support for Public Health Drinking Water Programs to Reduce Drinking Water Exposures”. The CDC program was established to support the communities served by small drinking water systems (to include private wells) not covered by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
The funding awarded to Artiola is part of a multi-year grant stemming from this CDC interagency initiative, and will support: 1) updates to the Arizona Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply, first published in 2009 and available on the UA SRP website, 2) the provision of four well water workshops in which ADHS will participate and offer home well testing kits, 3) a review of existing well water data for private wells in Arizona, 4) workshop evaluations involving the administration of surveys to workshop participants, and 5) participation in an ADHS-organized webinar. Artiola looks forward to partnering with ADHS to grow UA SRP and CALS Extension efforts to educate and support private well owners, saying: “This funding will support more Arizona residents in making better-informed decisions about their private wells and will help them to reduce their household exposure to contaminants”.
Be on the lookout for upcoming Arizona Domestic Well Owner’s workshops in Yavapai, Cochise, and Graham Counties.
See Dr. Artiola discuss his workshops, related UA Extension publications, and answer questions in the July 21, 2016 EPA Clu-In webinar that was part of the SRP Water Innovation – an Integrated Approach to Sustainable Solutions: Session IV: “Communicating Risk and Engaging Communities: Arsenic and Well Testing”. This webinar showcased the efforts of five SRP Centers to engage their local communities in well water testing programs and can be found at https://clu-in.org/conf/tio/srpwir4/