The CT Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section (EHS), Private Well Program (PWP) proposes under this competitive continuation grant opportunity to strengthen the PWP's capabilities to detect, prevent and control private well related environmental hazards through data-driven, evidence-based approaches. This grant opportunity would serve as an extension to the Safe WATCH program grant currently awarded to the DPH, and managed by the PWP.
Grant funds would be used to extend and expand upon many services the PWP currently provides including, private well user education and outreach, workforce training, collaborative efforts among private well related programs and organizations, and private well water data and parcel mapping initiatives. The new CDC grant opportunity would allow the PWP to expand upon data driven approaches, such as the integration of an additional EHS focus area with the inclusion of septic system locations into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) parcel mapping efforts. This would promote both a new and continued collaborative effort with the DPH Subsurface Sewage Program (SSP) and DPH Environmental & Occupational Health Assessment (EOHA) Program for appropriate health based messaging.
In order to improve the PWP's initiatives aimed at reducing exposures from private well water sources, funds will also be used to build upon its current private well data housed in the DPH's Maven database to collect private well water quality data associated with the sale of a property as prescribed in CT's General Statute 19a-37. A comprehensive GIS database showing both private well and septic system parcel locations in Connecticut will be maintained. Data made available through both Maven database and GIS mapping database efforts will provide the opportunity for improved and enhanced implementation of follow up associated with potentially impacted private wells. Data from both databases can also eventually be cross referenced and utilized to help identify private well vulnerabilities to emerging and known groundwater contaminants and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and climate change.
If awarded, the PWP proposes to utilize funds associated with this grant opportunity to fund a new epidemiologist 1 to help fill a gap within the program's current staffing. Funding would also be used to continue outreach and education, training, travel as needed and maintenance needs associated with both the Maven and GIS databases.