Southern Regional Water Program

Research, Extension & Education Water Quality Programs through the Land Grant University System

Regional Down-well Camera Video Targets Private Well Assessment for Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection

A majority of rural residents in the Southern Region have their drinking water supplied by private water wells. It is critical that these wells function properly and are free of pollutants. The Southern Region Drinking Water and Human Health Program Team is using down-well cameras to supplement evaluation of the condition of private drinking water wells and gain an understanding of groundwater impacts. A down-well camera captures footage that allows a specialist to check a well's casing, depth of casing, presence of seepage at joints, depth to water level that might lead to contamination, and other critical places in a water well that can not be seen during a traditional wellhead inspection. Images obtained with a down-well camera identify problems and provide individuals with information necessary to encourage them to repair their well and remove the presence of any potential surface pollutants. A sample down-well camera image is shown below. The data and images collected from a down-well camera allow Extension to better target the needs of private drinking water wells and develop education programs.

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Older, drilled steel wells can get holes in the casing - shallow water at the hold flows into the well rather than the water at the deep portion of the well.

The Southern Region down well camera database has grown and trends are already apparent. For example, the relationship between old steel-cased wells and corrosive water had not been documented. The camera has been able to showcase that wells older than 40 years often have "pin holes" in the steel casing where corrosive water is located in an aquifer. The applied research obtained from the camera helps alert well owners with steel case wells to have them checked.

This information and other trends are part of new Extension publications. Video footage developed from wells videotaped is available for download from: Georgia Well Videos FTP , Kentucky Videos FTP , Texas Videos FTP, Louisiana Videos FTP, Tennessee Well Videos FTP , and Oklahoma Well Videos FTP .

The Southern Region Drinking Water and Human Health program team is expanding its use of down-well cameras and plans to produce a regional DVD of common well problems. Wells from across the southern region will be included in the regional DVD.

Education Video for Private Well Owners

Incorporating down-well camera images into an education video for private well owners helps well owners learn about water quality problems in private wells. Due to the very large file sizes, we recommend only downloading the videos if you have a high-speed connection.

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