Believe Your Well Has Been Contaminated Due To Someone's Negligence? Here's What To Do
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 15 million homes in the United States have wells that supply drinking water. Based on research done by the U.S. Geological Survey, 20% of private wells have contaminants. Contamination of wells can cause serious illnesses and decreased property values.
Due to the serious nature of water well contamination, the Environmental Protection Agency has established the Clean Water Act, which regulates water pollution and sets water quality standards and requirements that, if not met, can lead to lawsuits in federal court. If you have a well and suspect that it has been contaminated due to the negligence of a neighboring or local business, here's what you need to do.
Have your well water tested
The first step to take is to have your well water tested for contaminants. Contact your local county health department for instructions on how to collect water samples and where to send the water samples to for testing. Depending on your county, you may be able to pick up a test kit from the health department. If not, a test kit can be mailed to you. The test kits will contain step-by-step instructions. You will receive the test results from the laboratory. The results will list the contaminants that were found in your well water.
Gather medical documentation
If you or other household members have been suffering medical illnesses that may be linked to water contamination, show the well water test results to the physicians who have treated you. If the physicians can determine that the illnesses are more likely than not to have been caused by the contaminated well water, ask the physicians to provide you with documentation detailing this likelihood. This documentation should be written and signed by the treating physician.
Get your property appraised
Contaminated wells can decrease the value of the property, particularly if the contaminants are carcinogenic in nature. Hire an appraiser to determine if the value of your property has decreased due to the contamination of the well. If so, you can add the valuation loss to your environmental lawsuit against the neighboring or local property owner that caused the contamination in your well.
Hire an environmental law attorney
Gather all the documentation and consult with an environmental law attorney. With proof of contamination and how the contamination affected your health and the value of your property, the environmental law attorney can then contact the Environmental Protection Agency on your behalf to investigate the causes of the contamination. If negligence is found, file a lawsuit through your attorney.
For more information, contact companies like Moore Smith Buxton & Turcke-Chartered.