WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Started by the National Ground Water Association, the 16th annual National Groundwater Awareness Week takes place March 9-15, 2014, according to a press release.

At a minimum, private well owners should test their water annually for bacteria, nitrate and anything of local concern, said Cliff Treyens, NGWA public awareness director: “We encourage private well owners to check with an appropriate state agency or local health department about any area-specific water testing recommendations."

Contaminants of local concern can be naturally occurring in the environment (such as arsenic and radon) or from manmade sources such as industrial sites, landfills and improper disposal of hazardous household wastes, reported the release.

According to the release, well owners should check their water more often if: There is a change in the taste or odor; a problem occurs such as a broken well cap or a new contamination source or appearance of the water; family members or houseguests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness; an infant is living in the home; and/or there is a need to monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.

To find a certified drinking water testing laboratory, contact your state drinking water testing lab certification officer.

Read the full release here.