School-Based Private Well Testing Outreach Event for Arsenic and Boron in New Jersey
Arsenic and boron can naturally occur in well water and chronic exposure to both is associated with a wide variety of health effects. In 2016, two New Jersey townships were targeted for a school-based outreach and testing event because the population relies on private well water for potable use, the aquifer is known to be at risk for arsenic and boron contamination, and young children are particularly vulnerable. Within 1 week, 376 homes submitted water samples. The results showed 94 homes (25%) exceeded the New Jersey arsenic maximum contaminant level and 18 homes (5%) exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency boron health advisory for children. A short survey attached to sample bottles provided information about reasons for testing and asked if a treatment method was installed. School-based recruitment for private well testing was an efficient public health outreach method to quickly obtain many private well samples and is a promising model for future private well outreach.
Speaker / Author:
Megan Rockafellow-Baldoni, MPH, PhD, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Rutgers University
Brady L. Lubenow, MS, New Jersey Geological and Water Survey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Nicholas A. Procopio, MS, PhD, Division of Science and Research, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Jessie A. Gleason, MSPH, Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance Program, New Jersey Department of Health
Steven E. Spayd, MPH, PhD, PG, New Jersey Geological and Water Survey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection