Private Well Water Quality in Puerto Rico and Testing for Potential Contaminants

By: WebWire

Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a plan to address contamination that is impacting wells previously used to supply drinking water to several communities in Puerto Rico.
The public is not currently drinking water from these closed wells, but EPA is taking action to address contamination from the site over the long-term. Groundwater samples collected by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) had found tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, solvents commonly used in industrial processes, in part of the system.
“EPA is responsible for making sure that the public water supplies within the United States are safe; however, the agency does not monitor or treat private well drinking water,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “In parts of Puerto Rico, people rely on private wells for their drinking water and some have no idea if it is safe to drink. Water contaminants can range from radon to microbes and chemicals. Even though there aren't testing requirements from the EPA for private wells, the agency does recommend that water from private wells be tested annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels. Testing should perhaps take place even more frequently if small children or elderly adults live in the house, or if someone in the house is pregnant or nursing.”
Private well owners are also encouraged to test the water if:

  • There are known problems with groundwater or drinking water in the area
  • Conditions near a well have changed significantly (i.e. flooding, land disturbances, and new construction or industrial activity)
  • Replacing or repairing any part of the well system has taken place
  • A change in the water quality is noticed (i.e. odor, color, taste)

In Puerto Rico and across the region, the water quality experts at Zimmetry Environmental offer testing services for biological, chemical, radiological and physical contaminants. They also provide testing and consulting services for properties with lead or asbestos water pipes. Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about private wells and testing drinking water quality that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other environmental, building science, industrial hygiene, air quality or compliance services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
  About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals, and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs, and general environmental consulting services.

— WebWireID282160 —

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