June 2019: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
June 2019 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 81, Number 10)
Editor's Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Collaborative Response to Natural Disaster Events Threatening Private Well Water Quality in a New Mexico Community
Rose Galbraith, MPH, New Mexico Department of Health
Nicholas Sharp, MPH, New Mexico Department of Health
Deyonne Sandoval, MS, CHES, New Mexico Department of Health
An estimated 400,000 New Mexicans rely on drinking water from private wells, particularly in rural areas. Private well water quality is unregulated in the state; therefore, public health plays an essential role in helping to mitigate health risks associated with contaminated private well drinking water through education, outreach, and response.
One essential function of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Epidemiology and Response Division’s (ERD) Private Wells Program, under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program, is well owner outreach and linking well owners/users to testing and educational resources. This function is especially important before, during, and after natural disaster events that could impact private well water quality. This month’s column illustrates how the Private Wells Program proactively used both established and new program partnerships to reduce public health risk during a community’s environmental events.