“Water Well-Being” is a public outreach program which will provide consumers who live in the towns of the Canoe River Aquifer - Sharon, Mansfield, Foxborough, Norton and Easton - with one stop shopping for information on responsible pesticide and fertilizer use. The goal of the program is to help ensure a safer and healthier water supply for the towns of the Canoe River Aquifer. Through a combination of this website, factsheets, presentations, and this manual, Water Well-Being will promote awareness of integrated pest management (IPM), hiring commercial applicators, controlling common pests, soil testing, water conservation, storage and disposal options, and resources for additional information.

Who is affected?
If you are a consumer who uses pesticides and fertilizers, this manual is designed for you. The greatest concentration of pesticide use and the greatest potential for chemical exposure exists in the urban and suburban environments. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the estimated application of pesticides by consumers in 1997 was 76 million pounds of active ingredient nationally. This includes the use of weed and feed products, weed killers, insecticides, herbicides, ant killers, fungicides, rose dusts, fertilizers, bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, flea collars, household cleaning products and other pesticides.

What towns are involved?
The target area is the Canoe River Aquifer from which approximately 50,000 people in the towns of Easton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Norton, and Sharon draw their drinking water. The Canoe River Aquifer is a sole source aquifer and is considered to be an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Why has this program been developed?
Pesticides and fertilizers, if not used correctly, can present risks to the quality of drinking water. A national study of pesticides in surface and groundwater performed by the United States Geological Service (USGS) found pesticides, at very low levels, in at least half of the wells tested.
Commercial applicators undergo training and licensing in order to apply pesticides. Yet, consumers can use many of the same pesticides that are used commercially without any training whatsoever. Many of the consumer products or step programs are not designed to meet site-specific needs. Water Well Being will provide you with the information you need to use pesticides and fertilizers responsibly.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Crop and Pest Services has developed this web site with funding through the Source Water Assessment Program of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.