Ways to Keep Your Well Water Clean and Clear
Currently, there are more than 15 million households in the United States that rely on private wells for their drinking water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only regulates wells that serve more than 25 people for 60 days of the year or more and have more than 15 service connections. If you have your own well, there are things you should be doing to keep the water safe. Here are some tips from your local water well company.
Test, test and test some more.
It is easy to get contaminants into your well water that will make you and your family sick. Small problems can grow to big ones that make you and your family sick. You need to stay on top of the quality of the water in your well. There are some signs you can look out for. If you notice a bad taste or well, your water looks dirty, it is harder to get your dishes and/or your clothes clean or you see discoloration on you water pipes, you should have your water tested.
You can find bacteria nearly everywhere. It is very easy for your well to be contaminated by human or animal waste. Your local water well company advises you have your well water tested for bacteria. What you need to do is take a sample to your local health department. The testing itself is not all that expensive. If the heath department cannot do it directly, they can direct you to someone who can. Do this at least once a year.
Iron, sodium, sulfates, nitrates, and nitrites can also get into your private water supply. When you have your water tested you can have it tested for all of these. If you have other concerns, say about something like arsenic, you can add that to the list of things they test for. You should talk to your local environmental quality office. Testing for chemicals should be done once every three to five years.
How much water is in your well?
When the residential well drilling company put your well in, the water was at a certain level. You should know how much water is in your well. Experts from the water well company can explain how much water your well can draw. The aquifer in your area will determine how much water you can get into your well. The bottom line is that your well is giving you enough water for your and your family’s needs. Make sure, if you are the person who put in the well, that you get the well drilling company gives you your starting point for how much water is available. This will give you a better sense of how much you are using and how your well is performing. Every month, measure your well level when it is full. You will know it is full when is not pumping.
Your well is a great home for many bacteria. Some of the most common are iron and sulphate-reducing bacteria. Not all bacteria are dangerous to people’s health but they will make your water taste terrible. They can also cause damage to other parts of your plumbing. If you see slime on the inside of your toilet flush tank, that might be a sign that you have the iron bacteria. One way many people keep their wells free of bacteria is to use chlorine. This is not something that is limited to private wells. When Washington, DC had a large scale bacterial contamination problem a few years ago, they added chlorine. Have the water well company come out and put in the right amount. Do this once a year.
- Once a year, test your well for bacteria.
- Every three to five years have your well water tested for chemicals.
- Once a month, measure your water level.
- Once a year, chlorinate your system.
In a time of economic and environmental uncertainty, it can be very comforting to have your a water well on your property. Whatever the reason you have one, it is important to take the steps listed above to keep your water clean and clear.