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Mason jar with water sample

With leading roles in the Community Engagement Core (CEC) and Research Translation (RT) team for the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP), CPES increases understanding of harmful environmental exposures such as inorganic arsenic and develop solutions to prevent exposure to these contaminants in well water. Through our work with private well users, we responded to private well contamination in environmental justice communities in NC. Over six years, we tested wells and reported findings to over 1,500 private well users.

More than 2.3 million people in North Carolina rely on private wells as their primary source of drinking water.

Therefore, the CPES is working to document and respond to private well contamination in environmental justice communities in North Carolina in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Fry, UNC SRP.

Through the UNC SRP’s Community Engagement Core, CPES works to help communities test and protect their private wells and learn about the health impacts of drinking contaminated water.

By offering free well tests and, when contaminants are identified, filters, we have helped some of NC’s most vulnerable populations to understand and respond to well water contamination in their communities.

This work builds upon work done in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies to map the distribution of contaminants found in NC private drinking water wells and develop an online resource for North Carolina well owners.

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Program Contact

Sarah Yelton,

Environmental Education and Citizen Science Program Manager, Center for Public Engagement with Science

(919) 966-0895


Made Possible by:

Funding Source


  • Clean Water for NC
  • Union County Environmental Health
  • Winyah Rivers Alliance
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

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