arts & sciences

Get your well water tested; Get rid of contaminants


If you own a home with a private well or you are looking into buying a property with a well, you have to understand how to keep your water supply clean and uncontaminated. This involves testing and treating your water supply.

Through proper well maintenance, you can avoid common water contaminants. We will discuss these contaminants and their consequences in this article.


Owning a private well

Generally, wells are attached to properties that are very remote and cannot easily be connected to the public water supply. However, some people may choose to install a private well in order to save money on water bills. These wells are drilled down to an aquifer, a water-bearing rock deep below ground and the water is pumped up into the well.

Well water needs to be treated because it seeps through layers of rock, soil and earth and absorbs many minerals and dissolved organic matter on its journey. The presence of these substances along with common contaminants means that the quality of your well water might not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency. To avoid consuming non-drinkable water, keep a regular testing and treatment schedule.

The need to test your well water

Test your water annually and treat it according to the results. If you fail to do this, you are making yourself prone to getting sick from your water source and accidentally consuming harmful bacteria, volatile organic compounds, sediment or any other common well contaminants.

Do not let this put you off buying a property with a well. Actually, as long as you get your water tested annually, you can have access to water healthier than tap or bottled water at your disposal.


The dangers of contaminants

Contaminated well water can lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or even more serious problems. Some common contaminants are iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide. All of these are safe to drink but at elevated levels, they can cause your water to smell bad and leave brown stains on your appliances.

Sediment, such as sand and hard minerals like calcium in your water, will likely cause you no bodily harm but they can damage your plumbing. Fluoride, which is found naturally in the ground, can make its way into your water supply. While a low level of fluoride is added to tap water to help your teeth, too much fluoride can lead to bone and teeth complications.

Aside from these contaminants, there are also more serious ones including uranium, radium and other toxic radioactive substances, bacteria like E-coli and heavy metals like arsenic or lead, which are toxic. These can all be found in contaminated water supplies.


Maintaining your well

Water softener systems are very handy for tackling water hardness. This is when your water has high levels of calcium and magnesium. Hard water can damage plumbing and can also make your water cloudy. When you wash your hands with hard water and soap, they can still feel slimy after they are clean due to the extra minerals. Water softener systems remove calcium and magnesium from the water. 

There are many water filtration systems available for well owners to buy and they are designed to prevent the most common well contaminants, such as iron, sulfur, manganese, sediment and heavy metals from infiltrating the water. During a well inspection, a contractor will tell you if any of the parts of your well need to be repaired or replaced.


The best things about well water

There are benefits of owning a private well. First, you don’t have to pay for water bills. Second, your water is often richer in minerals than city water or bottled water. Third, you can choose how to treat your water and there is nothing in there that you don’t know about. Fourth, your water doesn’t contain disinfectant chemicals like chlorine.


This has been a simple guide to better understanding why it is imperative to treat your well water regularly. Well water can be contaminated by organic compounds, toxic substances, sediment and other contaminants that can damage your home’s plumbing and cause health concerns.

However, as long as you follow regular well maintenance and water testing and treatment schedule, you can be sure that your water is safe to drink and nutritious. Treated well water can be better for you than water from a tap or bottle. Test and treat your well water and enjoy.

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