Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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National Groundwater Awareness Week


Submitted by the Peoria City/County Health Department


Groundwater Awareness week occurs March 10th through March 16th in 2024, and during this time it is important to shine a light on groundwater and what we can do to protect it. Water is a resource that every person uses daily for drinking, bathing, farming, cooking, and many more activities. Even though water is such an essential part of everyday life, many people might not realize that much of their freshwater comes from the ground. Regardless of whether a home is supplied by a private well or by city water, groundwater is being used to supply the fresh water. Raising awareness and creating an interest in groundwater can help to protect the water source and keep the community healthy.


What Is Groundwater?

Groundwater is the freshwater that is stored underground in the cracks or spaces in the soil. Groundwater is replenished when the rain or snow seeps down beneath the land’s surface. The water is then held in aquifers, a layer of rock that allows water to pass through easily. The groundwater can then be extracted out through wells, and the freshly extracted water can be used as a source of drinking water. The groundwater can also naturally be discharged into lakes and streams, which then becomes known as surface water.


Where Does Our Drinking Water in Peoria City Come From?

In the Peoria water district, our water comes from both groundwater and surface water. There are three major well sites that supply the city of Peoria with water, and these wells extract the fresh water from an aquifer known as the San Koty Aquifer. In addition to the well water, Peoria also utilizes the Illinois River for some of its drinking water. The average amount of water that is supplied to the Peoria District daily is 23 million gallons. Before this water can make it to our pipes, the water is treated to ensure it is safe to drink. It is then monitored and tested for the health and safety of the public. Visit Drinking Water Branch ( to see information on water test results for Peoria City Water.


What if My Home Is Not Supplied by Peoria City Water?

In Peoria County, there are many homes that do not have access to public water. Those houses are supplied with water wells; this could be a private well or it could be a shared or community well. Water wells are holes dug or drilled into the ground to access and retrieve fresh water from the groundwater. If a water well is private, meaning it serves only one home, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the water is safe to drink, and the well is in good repair. It is always recommended that homeowners test their water yearly to make sure it is safe to drink. To celebrate National Groundwater Awareness Month, the Peoria City/County Health Department is giving away water sample testing kits during March 2024 to private well owners. Make sure to scan the QR code on this page to see if you qualify for a free test kit.


What if There Is an Unused Well on My Property?

Unused wells are considered abandoned, and they pose a great threat to the groundwater. Abandoned wells still provide direct access to the groundwater regardless of if they supply a home with fresh water. Often, abandoned wells are not kept in good shape and contaminated surface water, farm field runoff, or even improperly disposed of sewage can get into these abandoned wells. The contaminated abandoned well can then cause the groundwater in the surrounding area to be contaminated, and then private wells might supply this contaminated water to your homes. For this reason, abandoned wells are required to be sealed. These abandoned wells exist all over Peoria County, urban and rural. If you believe there is an abandoned well on your property, contact the Peoria City/County Health Department for assistance on sealing the abandoned well.


How Can You Protect Our Ground Water?

According to the National Ground Water Association, the two best ways to protect the groundwater are by conserving its use and protecting it from contamination. There are plenty of ways to conserve the groundwater indoors and outdoors. Consider planting native plants and grasses to reduce extra lawn watering and use mulch where possible to help retain moisture. Inside the home make sure that dishwashers or washing machines are only run if they are full, turn off faucets when not in use, and always repair leaky faucets. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water a year. Equally as important to conserving is protecting the groundwater. Common human contaminants include improper disposal of paints and chemicals and not using artificial pesticides and fertilizers in farming and landscaping. Additionally, make sure that medicine and personal care products are not being disposed of down drains, and always make sure to dispose of wastewater down sewer drains and not in storm drains.


    For more information on groundwater awareness, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department Website or contact our Environmental Health Department at (309) 679-6161.