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Important Facts for Private Well Usage: Self-Reported as Main Source of Drinking Water


Percent of NJ residents self-reporting using and testing a private well as the main water source for their home.


Number of people age 18 years and older self-reporting using and testing a private well as main water source for their home.


Total number of persons aged 18 and older interviewed during the same survey period.

Data Interpretation Issues

Data from the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey are intended to represent non-institutionalized adults in households with telephones. Data are collected using a random sample of all possible telephone numbers throughout New Jersey. Prior to analysis, data are weighted to represent the population distribution of adults by age, sex, and "race"/ethnicity. The denominator used for the calculation of these estimates includes all survey respondents except those with missing, don't know, and refused answers. As with all surveys, however, some residual bias may result from non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement error (e.g., social desirability or recall). Attempts are made to minimize such error by use of a strict calling protocol (up to 15 calls are made to reach each household), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.

Why Is This Important?

Water is used for many purposes including drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and recreation. Because water use is so common in daily life, there are many opportunities for contaminated water to impact people. New Jersey has over 600 community water systems which provide drinking water to approximately 87% of the State's population. However, about 13 percent of New Jersey residents obtain their drinking water from private wells.

How Are We Doing?

If you are a New Jersey resident who uses their own source of drinking water, like a well, cistern, or spring, you are responsible for protecting and monitoring your water supply. It is essential that you test your water periodically, and maintain your well. There are no federal or state regulations assuring the quality of the water consumed by NJ residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells. The New Jersey Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) assures that the purchasers and lessees of properties served by private potable wells are aware of the quality of their drinking water source prior to the sale or lease of a home or business. Sampling and testing must be conducted by certified laboratories.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 23 April 2024 14:42:48 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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