Skip to main content

Information for Participating Homeowners

We are looking for homeowners in New York's Southern Tier to participate in our research study. Participating homeowners allow us to sample their well water. We measure various aspects of their well water quality, include that information in our geospatial database, and provide results of our analysis to participating homeowners at no cost.

How do homeowners get involved in Project SWIFT?

We are identifying candidate wells across Chenango, Steuben, Chemung, Tioga, and Broome counties for sampling. Candidate wells have detailed information on well construction available from publically available databases on drinking water wells in New York State. We are also trying to achieve even spatial coverage across the Southern Tier of New York State, so we are only sampling a limited number of wells in each county. If a well is identified as a candidate for our study, the property owners are being contacted by mail with a letter describing the project and soliciting voluntary participation in the study. The letter provides contact information for the project personnel, if the homeowner is interested in participating. Letters are being followed by phone calls, when possible, to property owners to solicit their voluntary participation in the study and to establish potential site visit and sample collection times.

If a property owner is interested in participating, but they have not been contacted by mail, they can contact the Project SWIFT team by email or phone. We will explore whether the property owner's well satisfies our selection criteria.

What does participation entail?

The onsite visit will be about an hour and will include a brief owner/occupant survey regarding any known information on water quality history, use of water treatment equipment, well construction, and other information relevant to well water quality. We will at that time ask for the owners’ written consent to sample their well and use the information related to his/her water well quality in our study, including posting such data on a publically available web-GIS interface. Owners will be provided with the option to opt-out of certain parts of the study if they have any concerns. The process of sampling well water typically takes less than an hour.

What will I receive as a project participant?

Property owners who participate in the study will receive a complimentary explanatory report, prepared by project personnel, on their water quality as these data become available, likely following the completion of sampling this summer. They will be provided with all water quality testing results in tabular format.

If you are interested in having your well water tested and included in our publically available database, please contact us at (315) 443-6271 or by email (swift@syr.edu). We welcome your participation!

Note: University laboratories used for water quality testing for this project have not traditionally been involved in regulatory work and, as such, are not formally EPA certified. Our water testing results are of the highest research quality, with stringent quality controls and assurances in place, but participants should not consider our testing as a substitute for analysis at certified testing facilities.