New UNC study identifies disparities in testing and treating well water among low-income, BIPOC households in N.C. Aug 22, 2023

BREDL chapters and staff participated in a University of North Carolina project examining the potential contamination of private wells. Our chapters Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump and Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash reached out to local residents about the free testing and held community meetings featuring the UNC scientists.

BREDL appreciates the opportunity to work with UNC on this important research. Links to additional information can be found below.

From the University’s press release:

A new study published in Environmental Justice by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that private well testing and treatment levels were significantly predicted by race and income, even though high levels of contamination were equally distributed across the research areas.

“Although we found alarming levels of well water contamination in our study, what’s most troubling is that not everyone was equally aware of the problem,” said lead author Andrew George, community engagement coordinator in the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science. “You cannot see, taste or smell toxic metals in drinking water, so only households who are testing their private wells will be able to identify and address any problems. However, we found significant differences in levels of testing and treatment between income and racial groups.”