DPH Launches New Financial Aid Program for Private Well Owners, Offers Free Water Testing Kits to Delaware Residents

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A new financial assistance program is available for homeowners who receive their drinking water from private wells. The program is operated by the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Health Systems Protection section. You’ll be eligible to apply for the new financial assistance program if your water quality test results obtained from the laboratory contain excessive amounts in any of the following areas:

• Total coliforms
• E. coli
• Fluoride
• Nitrate
• Nitrite
• Sodium* *(If at risk and on severely salt-restricted diets).

Also, starting tomorrow Sept. 1st, Delawareans can receive free test kits for their primary residence in the state, which were previously available for $4 per kit. The test kits cover a standard range of bacteria and chemicals that may be present in drinking water.

Additional Information from the Delaware Division of Public Health:

A Bacteria Kit tests for the following:   

  • Total coliforms  
  • E. coli   

A Chemical Kit tests for the following:  

  • Alkalinity  
  • Chloride  
  • Fluoride  
  • Hardness  
  • Iron  
  • Nitrate  
  • Nitrite  
  • pH  
  • Sodium  
  • Sulfate  

The Division of Public Health reminds residents that water quality standards for private wells are not regulated by the federal or state government, and they are the responsibility of the homeowner. For more information on primary and secondary contaminants covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act, and their health impacts, visit: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-06/documents/npwdr_complete_table.pdf  

Drinking water test kits can be picked up at four locations in the state:   

New Castle County  

  • Environmental Health Field Services  258 Chapman Road, Newark, DE 19702302-283-7110 
  • Delaware Public Health Laboratory
    30 Sunnyside Road, Smyrna, DE 19977302-223-1520  

Kent County  

  • Environmental Health Field Services  Thomas Collins Building, Suite 5, Dover, DE 19901302-744-1220   

Sussex County  

  • Environmental Health Field Services  Thurman Adams State Service Center, Suite 1700  544 S. Bedford St, Georgetown, DE 19947  302-515-3300  

Individuals will be eligible to apply for the new financial assistance program if their water quality test results obtained from the laboratory contain excessive amounts in any of the following areas:  

  • Total coliforms  
  • E. coli  
  • Fluoride  
  • Nitrate  
  • Nitrite  
  • Sodium*  

*If individuals are at risk and on severely salt-restricted diets.  

To participate in the program, individuals must complete the application form and provide proof of enrollment in other State or Federal assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, Supplemental Security Income, LIHEAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  

Once applications have been reviewed and approved, third-party vendors will select the appropriate treatment methods based on sample results. A treatment system, installation and the first year of maintenance will be covered by the program. Homeowners and tenants with landlord approval/sign-off can apply for the program.   

This program is funded through the State of Delaware’s Fiscal Year 2023 capital budget (Bond Bill) and has a budget of $200,000. It will operate on a first-come, first-served basis until funds expire or additional funding is secured for the program.    

For more information about the new program, email DHSS_DPH_PrivateWell@delaware.gov or call 302-744-4546 Option 9.     


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