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Could Private Well Water Unlock Health Insights?

September 03, 2020

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The Healthy NV Project® launches a new study to identify how private well water could impact the health of those living in the household.

You use your faucet to wash your hands, make coffee and fill your water bottle. However, for approximately 41,000 people in Washoe and Churchill Counties who rely on private well water, there may be unseen contaminants present in their H2O, which could be affecting their health.

The Healthy Nevada Project®, with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is launching a new study to discover how private well water quality impacts the health of well owners. By providing free water testing kits to interested Healthy Nevada Project® participants, researchers will collect samples and give results back to well owners, along with resources for potential treatment options.

Data from previous studies in Nevada show elevated concentrations of heavy metals in some private, household wells. Since water from household wells is not monitored for quality by government agencies, well water testing helps ensure water does not contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, such as lead, which can lead to adverse health impacts. 

Those with a household well interested in receiving a free water testing kit must be enrolled in the Healthy Nevada Project’s population genetic screening study and consent to be a part of further research. People interested in joining the study can simply sign up to receive a genetic spit test kit in the mail or join the waitlist to be notified when in-person testing resumes.

“The goals of the Healthy Nevada project are to improve population health and better understand processes that increase disease risks, such as cancer. In this study, we engage with our study participants and inform them about the impact of the environment on their health, while researching environmental contaminants that may elevate cancer risk,” said Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., research professor at DRI, principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project® and chief scientific officer for Renown Health. “During a time where people are spending more time at home, we’re excited to launch this multi-disciplinary study that dives into possible health impacts of a household’s water source.” 

“As the Healthy Nevada Project continues to serve over 54,000 research volunteers, we are proud to provide helpful information to participants, so they can make life-changing improvements to their home environment,” said Tony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, FACHE, president and CEO of Renown Health and co-director of the Healthy Nevada Project. “This allows every person with well water in Nevada, to have important information, at no charge, to help live healthier and better lives and to protect their family’s health.”

The Healthy Nevada Project® is the fastest-enrolling genetic study in the country. The Project is also the first of its kind to return clinical results to study volunteers, which means participants can learn their genetic risks tied to heart disease and certain cancers, as well as lifestyle changes that could potentially help reduce their risk and prevent disease. To enroll in the Healthy Nevada Project, please visit healthynv.org. 



Renown Institute for Health Innovation is a collaboration between Renown Health - a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California; and the Desert Research Institute - a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. Renown IHI research teams are focused on integrating personal healthcare and environmental data with socioeconomic determinants to help Nevada address some of its most complex environmental health problems; while simultaneously expanding the state’s access to leading-edge clinical trials and fostering new connections with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at healthynv.org.

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