MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A Web site now provides information about Kansas private well construction, maintenance and testing, thanks to participants in the Kansas Environmental Leadership Program.

The site is available at It also provides links to relevant Kansas State University Research and Extension publications.

"There is a real need for this kind of information," said KELP coordinator Judy Willingham. "According to K-State research, only 40 percent of our private wells now meet the safe drinking water standards used for public systems."

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 15 percent of Americans have their own source of drinking water. The EPA recommends testing wells yearly for coliform bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants.

The KELP 2005 class members who designed the Web site are Bronson Farmer of Salina; Herb Graves, Chapman; Keena Privat, Emporia; Doug Schneweis, Hays; and Gerry Snyder, Manhattan.

KELP helps participants hone leadership skills and learn about water resources, Willingham said. They attend five training sessions in various communities throughout the state over a 10-month period.

The program is administered through the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Kansas State University and is a cooperative project of K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

SOURCE: K-State Research and Extension news release.