Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Help scientists, get your private well tested for free after Hurricane Florence

Do you use a private well? Were you affected by Hurricane Florence? Next week, you can get your well tested for free and help researchers along the way.

Private wells in southeastern North Carolina may have elevated metals or fecal coliform levels following Hurricane Florence. (Port City Daily/File photo)
Private wells in southeastern North Carolina may have elevated metals or fecal coliform levels following Hurricane Florence. (Port City Daily/File photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Researchers are looking into how Hurricane Florence impacted water quality in private wells in the region, and to obtain results, are offering free well testing kits.

Free kits are available to New Hanover County and nearby residents on a first-come, first-serve basis. Test kits are not limited to just New Hanover County.

RELATED: Building after Florence: Leland asks for the state’s help in conducting flood study

The results will be available privately to private well owners and the data will be used by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State Extension, and Virginia Tech researchers in an upcoming study.

“In North Carolina, about one out of three people are on a private well, but very few people actually test their well,” Andrew George, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment community engagement coordinator, said.

Over 100 free kits are available, George said, which will be later analyzed by a Virginia Tech laboratory team.

Next week, the research team will host a community meeting in Wilmington to discuss water quality and treatment options for private wells. Held on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the community meeting will take place at The Arboretum.

Earlier that same day, from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., free test kits will be available to be picked up. Test kits will also be available for pickup Tuesday in Castle Hayne from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Horticultural Crops Research Station.

Kits are available to residents or businesses that use a private well for indoor or outdoor use and that was affected by Hurricane Florence.

Samples will be tested for metals and coliform bacteria, to help create an improved understanding of how flooding impacts private well use.


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