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April 24,  2002

South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority Kicks Off Its First-Ever Statewide Consumer Education Campaign On Drinking Water Quality During National Drinking Water Week, May 5 - 11

(SafetyAlerts) - The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) and its in-house testing service, AquaMD, will conduct its first statewide consumer education campaign on drinking water quality during National Drinking Water Week, May 5 - 11. The campaign's goal is to keep residents better informed on topical issues related to their drinking water quality such as drought, contamination, testing and well maintenance, and to help them understand how they can take a more active role in ensuring their drinking water is safe.

The campaign will consist of three elements:

1) RWA/AquaMD will team up with the Connecticut Water Well Association (CWWA) for a free public seminar for well-water homeowners, on Tuesday, May 7th at the Woodbridge Town Library (please visit for additional details -- PRESS WELCOME)

2) Direct mail to thousands of consumers throughout Connecticut, which will include basic water quality education materials and practical safety tips

3) Partnering with the CT Water Well Association, who play a key role in communicating directly with homeowners regarding protecting drinking water through proper well maintenance

"Throughout its 150-year history, RWA has played an active community role and helped keep area residents informed about important drinking issues," explains David Silverstone, President. "We always emphasize that Connecticut's public drinking water is safe and maintained quite well by water utilities, but we also want residents serviced by well water to be aware of measures they can take to help ensure drinking water quality."

For example, potentially dangerous contaminants, which often have no odor, taste or color, can - and sometimes do - enter drinking water supplies from a number of sources, which may not be known to the homeowner. These include pollution, improper disposal of household or industrial waste, fuel or chemical spills, excess rain/flooding, poorly-maintained wells, bacterial contamination or lead found in pipes of older homes.

"The majority of Connecticut homes are serviced by public water systems, which are regularly checked, treated and filtered, in keeping with EPA requirements," explains Brian Cronin, AquaMD's Water Quality Associate. "However, more than 500,000 Connecticut residents are serviced by private sources, primarily wells, which are not checked by authorities, leaving sole responsibility with the homeowner to maintain water quality."

Testing is one way RWA recommends homeowners take an active role. RWA recently introduced a new service that allows anyone to have their drinking water checked by the experts at its testing lab, which is state-certified and registered with the EPA.

"Consumers can benefit from a reliable and convenient testing service," said Silverstone. "The ability to test anytime gives homeowners a greater comfort level that their drinking water is safe."

RWA's consumer water testing service is called AquaMD, and offers certified lab testing for many potential contaminants such as lead; arsenic; MTBE; Coliform and E.coli bacteria; pesticides and herbicides, with prices starting at $20. Test kits can be ordered anytime via the web or toll-free number, and are shipped directly to the customer, who supplies the water and sends it back. Easy-to-read results are ready within ten days with next steps, if needed. The site also contains background information and links to State Health Departments, EPA sites, and more.

In addition to testing, other tips from RWA include:

* Maintain Wells -- Follow all instructions for well maintenance; test well water at least once a year, as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),

* Be Alert -- Keep an eye out for changes in the water, such as color, odor, taste

* Be Cautious -- If contamination is suspected, don't drink or use the water; contact your local health department or water authorities on alternative sources, next steps

* Contact Experts -- Always contact the local health department or water
authority if you think a problem exists.

* Test -- Both the EPA and the CT State Health Department recommend
annual testing of well water; if a contamination is reported in your
area, more frequent water testing may be required

Call 1-888-AQUAMD-4 or visit

Source: PRNewswire

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