Close this Alert

Close this Alert


The Tuskegee University water quality team addresses the safe drinking water concerns of Alabamians receiving their drinking water from private wells.

Alabama's water resources are abundant and are generally of high quality. The task of determining and maintaining this quality in private wells is the responsibility of individual well owners. The water quality team facilitates this effort through testing, demonstrations, and education.

The twelve County Alabama Black Belt regions is the target area of concern, but testing services and programs are accessible to resident in each of Alabama's sixty-seven counties. The Alabama Black Belt is one of the state's most diverse hydrological areas and has the largest percentage of private wells being used as the primary drinking water supply. Numerous unique demonstrations and outreach efforts are targeted for " The Black Belt" in an attempt to maintain high water quality awareness levels of residents in this region.

The focus of the Tuskegee University water quality initiative is to:
- Promote safe drinking water through the routine annual testing of drinking water supplies, both public and private
- Provide educational programs that stimulate an interest in protecting and maintaining safe drinking water in Alabama
- Conduct effective demonstrations that afford residents to view adaptable minimal cost techniques that promote safe drinking water

Program Mission

Written Explanation of Situation & Justification 
More than 50% of rural residents in Alabama use groundwater as their main domestic water source. Private Wells in rural areas are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA); hence rising levels of contaminants often go undetected. Tuskegee University initiated a water testing program to serve the rural residents in Alabama Black Belt Counties (BBCs). Water testing results have revealed increasing levels of nitrates and coliforms in various BBCs, suggesting negative impacts of agricultural practices on groundwater quality. Consequently, Tuskegee University initiated a systematic educational and outreach program targeting rural residents across the BBCs. The program aims at enhancing the water quality, environment, and hence the wellbeing of residents in Alabama BBCs. A series of workshops were conducted as well as dissemination of educational resources in six BBCs, including Lowndes, Wilcox, Sumter, Marengo, Dallas and Perry.  A broad range of topics were covered including watersheds principles, sources and effects of water contaminants, water testing, septic systems, and best management practices. Participatory approaches as well as pre-and post-tests were used to assess short- and medium-term outcomes. Participants’ responses were collected with the aid of “TurningPoint” hardware and software. The pre-test/post-test results were used to evaluate the awareness level, knowledge gain, and change in attitude and behavior. Awareness level increased from 35% to 77%; knowledge gain increased from 57% to 71%; change in attitude towards water quality enhancement increased from 37% to 55%; while change in behavior towards community participation to protect water quality increased from 50% to 78%, after the workshop. The conclusion is that there are positive outcomes of the Tuskegee University water quality educational program in Alabama BBCs.

Program Staff

•   Dr. Ankumah
•   Dr. shange
•   Dr. Vaughan
•   Dr. Quansah
•   Dr. Fall
•   Mrs. Osinuga
•   Dr. Brantley

Educational Resources

•  Dr. Eve Brantly - "Watershed and Our Waters" 
Narrated Power point link
•  Dr. Leonard Githinji "Water Pollution in Rural Watersheds: Sources and effects of physical, chemical and biological contaminants"
Narrated Power point link
•  Dr. Barrett Vaughan - "Household Septic Systems"
Narrated Power point link
•  Dr. Gobena Huluka - "Water Testing: Monitoring Resources and Action" 
Narrated Power point link

> Curriculum
> Fact Sheets
> Power Point Links Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4Link 5Link 6Link 7Link 8Link 9 )
> Photos ( File 1File 2File 3 )
> Videos
> Helpful Links

Do You Want to Volunteer?

The Watershed Association:

This association is a forum where you and fellow residents will work together to sustain the well-being of your individual watershed. You, as a Watershed Association member, will be trained how to maintain your watershed by water quality experts from various institutions including Tuskegee University, Auburn University and Alabama Water Watch. 

Check here later for Volunteer Registration!

The Master Well Owner Network:

Through this network, you will receive free well quality educational training. This training will help you improve and maintain  your well structure and water quality. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to assist others in improving their well water quality.

Check here later for Volunteer Registration!

Test You Water

Interested in Surface Water (AWW)?

Join Our Well Watchers

Well Watchers is a monitoring system to ensure that the education we provide is effective

Check Here Later to Join our Well Watchers!

Ask Us a Question!