If you rely on a private well for your water supply, please read this carefully. 

Earthquakes can cause changes to your well, including:

  • Discolored or cloudy water: Ground shaking can stir up sediment in your well. This is usually temporary (clears within hours or days).
  • Changes in water supply rate: The earthquake may have affected your well’s structure.
  • Concerns about water quality: It’s always wise to be cautious after a major event.

Here’s what you should do:

Inspect your well: Check for cracks or other damage around the well casing. If you are experiencing changes in flow or suspect damage, contact a local well drilling company to inspect the well.

Monitor your water clarity: If your water is cloudy, run it for a while to see if it clears. Boiling your water is always a good precaution until you’re sure it’s safe.

Consider well testing: We recommend testing your well for bacteria, nitrates, and arsenic, especially if you’re near the epicenter or suspect damage.



RHA’s Well Test Program: www.testmywell.org

USGS Info on Earthquakes and Wells:  https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/how-does-earthquake-affect-groundwater-levels-and-water-quality-wells

Fact Sheet: Earthquakes, Wells, and Septics: Public Health and the Environment – Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation https://matsugov.us/news?task=download&collection=file_upload_x&xi=0&file=file_upload&id=20374

USGS monitoring well in Readington (see immediate increase in depth to water level during the earthquake): https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/403517074452501/#parameterCode=72019&period=P7D&showMedian=true


Please share this information with anyone in your network who uses a private well!