Groundwater awareness week starts Sunday

The Jefferson County Environmental Department is promoting National Groundwater Awareness Week from Sunday through March 17.

The theme this year is ?Test. Tend. Treat.? This annual observance, started by the National Groundwater Association in 1999, is to highlight the responsible development, management and use of water. NGWA encourages yearly water testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illness.

Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater every day. More than 13.2 million households have their own well, representing 34 million people, and 132 million Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water. Life depends on water. Groundwater is one of the most widely used and valuable natural resources on earth.

The Jefferson County Environmental Health Department is one of six counties in the state that just received a reallocation of $25,400 to its Grants to Counties program from the state.

?The grant funds can be used for free well water testing, well reconstruction and well and cistern plugging. State code requires old wells to be reconstructed or plugged? said Dan Miller Jefferson County Environmental Health Department Head. The grant cycle ends June 30. To receive the grant funds and for more information, call Miller at 472-2561.

For more information on NGWAW, visit