Over 1,500 people attend well water tele-town hall

LANSING, Mich. — More than 1,500 area residents on Tuesday took part in a well water safety tele-town hall meeting with Sen. Ruth Johnson.

Mark Hansell, chief of Environmental Health Special Programs — Oakland County Health Division, was Johnson’s special guest for the event.

“Michigan has more private wells used for drinking water than any other state, with a quarter of all Michigan families relying on private wells as their primary source of drinking water,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “Unlike residents who rely on municipal water systems, well owners must perform their own quality control. This tele-town hall meeting was held to help answer people’s questions about how to ensure their well water is safe to drink, such as knowing what contaminants to test for and how to remove any they might find.

“I want to thank everyone who participated and also thank Mark Hansell for helping answer questions and address concerns from local families.”

Johnson targeted the tele-town hall to areas in her district where it is common for residents to rely on a private well for drinking water. Two real-time polls conducted on the call showed that 88% of participants said they use a private well as their primary source of drinking water and 71% of the people who use a private well said they had not tested their water for contaminants in the past five years.

During the event, residents asked questions about testing their water directly from the tap if they have a water softener, whether a reverse osmosis machine takes care of man-made chemicals collectively known as PFAS, the safest way to treat bacterial iron in their pipes, how to get rid of rust problems in their water, how much a well’s depth protects homeowners from contamination, and testing rainwater runoff.

Johnson highlighted the Water Resources page located under the “Resources” tab on her state website, www.SenatorRuthJohnson.com, which includes valuable information for private well owners. Visitors to the site can find links to state, county and federal resources related to well water safety and quality, as well as additional information on common contaminants in groundwater.

“We designed this page to be a one-stop shop for families about water safety,” Johnson said. “I encourage anyone who could not participate to visit the Water Resources page or contact my office if they have any questions.”

For constituents who do not rely on a private well, Johnson’s page also contains links to water quality reports for public water systems in the 14th Senate District.

People may contact Johnson’s office at 517-373-1636 or via email at [email protected].

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