Abstract

Currently, no federal policies exist in the United States regarding private wells; this authority is devolved to states. This study inventoried state-level policies governing private wells in the United States in order to identify the topics addressed by each state, division of responsibilities across state agencies, and geographic differences in policy comprehensiveness. From May to August 2018, two independent reviewers conducted an online search followed by directly contacting state agencies (98% response) to identify all state-level policies in the United States that directly reference private wells. The search, updated in April 2018, confirmed the existing water policy list and identified 23 additional policies. Policies were then coded according to nine not-mutually-exclusive classifications. The results indicate that all states had at least one policy addressing private well drilling or construction. Significant geographic differences exist in maintenance related policies. In conclusion, although drilling and construction safety are addressed by each state, some policy domains are addressed inconsistently across states, and other policy domains are absent in most states.

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