Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Environmental sciences, Water resources, Environmental and geological engineering

Publication Details

Water Security


Unregulated, privately owned water supplies, including groundwater wells, are relied upon extensively, particularly in rural and remote regions. While adequate stewardship behaviors (water testing, treatment, and maintenance) have been shown to decrease the incidence and frequency of faecal indicator organism (FIO) presence and, by extension, the risk of pathogenic ingress, contaminated private water supplies continue to constitute a significant public health risk. Recognizing that innovative approaches are needed to bolster well stewardship, this paper identifies and assesses 35 tools (smartphone and web-based applications) to better understand components, functionality, strengths, and weaknesses. Applications for both data collection and risk communication were identified; however, none adequately assess(ed) risk using space-, time- or source-specific inputs (local hydrogeology, climate, groundwater reliance). Well designed applications integrated with crowd-sourced data, environmental data, and models of risk provide an opportunity for enhanced stewardship of private well water resources.



Public Health Ontario; Empire Life