Only Alaska and Pennsylvania do not regulate the design, materials, equipment, and construction of a water well. In Pennsylvania, the result of no regulation or a "buyer beware" approach has been hundreds of thousands of poorly constructed water wells with substantial water pollution problems.
Across the Commonwealth, approximately 3.5 million people drink water from more than 1 million water wells and about 20,000 new wells are drilled each year. As many as one-quarter of those wells has one or more contaminants that endanger health.
It is time to regulate water well construction in Pennsylvania. This is not a situation of fixing a problem that is not broken. We have hundreds of thousands of water wells that are broken, that threaten the health of those who drink from them.
Legislation to regulate water well construction has been introduced by Rep. Ron Miller. See www.goerie.com/article/20120220/NEWS02/302209970/Water-well-regulations-could-reduce-contamination-increase-costs.
Marcellus drilling is shining a light on water wells and water quality. Passing regulation of water well construction would be a great benefit, derived from the public attention created by gas drilling. Pass it!