Partner Blog

Information of use to those who serve private well owners.

A Gradual Return to In-Person Outreach for the Illinois State Water Survey

In August and early September, staff from the Illinois State Water Survey participated in both the 2021 Illinois State Fair in Springfield, IL and the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL. At the Illinois State Fair, the ISWS had a booth in the “Conservation World” from August 13-15 and August 20-22. According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2021 Illinois State Fair saw over 472,000 visitors, making it the second highest attended fair since the department began tracking formal attendance numbers in 2014.

In addition, the ISWS had a booth in the “Partners in Conservation” tent from August 31-September 2 at the Farm Progress Show. The Farm Progress Show is the nation’s largest outdoor farm event and attendees and included producers from 46 states and around the world. ISWS estimated to have directly helped at least 278 private well owners at the Illinois State Fair over 6 days and at least 230 private well owners at the Farm Progress Show over 3 days, with many signing up for the Private Well Class.

The Private Well Class program is a free, grant-funded program that provides education and outreach, both online and in-person, to boost knowledge and competency of well owners as well as the thousands of dedicated environmental health, cooperative extension, and water well professionals that serve well owners every day.

Staff not only discussed the water cycle and the role that groundwater has in it, but also had an interactive sand tank flow model that demonstrates how groundwater moves in an aquifer and how contamination can affect private wells using colored dye. The display included a working hand pump for kids to try, which demonstrated how everyone in the “good old days” got water from a well. Private well owners in attendance also had the opportunity to chat with our Privatewellclass.org staff and experts. Information was provided on how to sign up for the free 10-lesson Private Well Class, how to get your well water tested, and where to find other resources available for well owners who want to learn more about how to properly care for their well.











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