Term of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Community Health Behavior and Education (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Policy and Community Health

Committee Chair

Asla Aslan

Committee Member 1

Bettye Apenteng

Committee Member 2

Andrew Hansen


In the United States, an estimated 15% of the population relies on private wells for their drinking water. Private wells are not regulated by governments, which leave well owners responsible for the quality of their water. While wells are not regulated, the United States Environmental Agency (USEPA) suggest three stewardship behaviors to ensure the water is safe to consume: water testing, water treatment, and well maintenance. The purpose of this study was to identify the social and interpersonal influences on well stewardship behaviors in rural Georgia. A four-group randomized controlled trial was implemented to evaluate the efficacy of three interventions: education, the provision of water filters, and the combination of education and the provision of water filters. Private well owners (n=64) completed a pretest measuring psychosocial factors and stewardship behaviors before receiving an intervention. After 104 days, participants completed a posttest and interviews were conducted on participants receiving treatment systems to identify the barriers and facilitators to use. The pretest revealed that 34% of well owners have tested their water, with most (41%) conducting their last test more than 10 years ago. Similarly, water treatment rates were low (25%). The intervention consisting of water filters only had a significant effect on treatment behaviors (OR=1.85, p2=.87, p< 0.05) and self-regulation (R2=1.0, p2=.84, p2=.93, p

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Thursday, October 21, 2027