13 million households are dependent on well water in the United States. Since the EPA does not regulate this water, it is up to the homeowner to make sure their water is safe. They do not even provide recommended criteria. All they offer are guidelines for testing and potential contaminants.
So we’re going to look at some of the most important tips that you absolutely need to follow with your private well.
Regularly Test Well Water
This seems obvious so it’s weird that most homeowners do not take this step. They just assume that their water is safe. The reality is much less straight-forward than that. Why in the world would anyone risk the health of their family based on an assumption? It’s vital that well water be tested by a lab at least once per year. Private well owners should also use a home testing kit at least once a month.
There are also special occasions where water should be tested out of schedule. The beginning of a pregnancy is a prime example of this. The first six months of an infant’s life is another important point where water should be tested more frequently than once a month. Some other examples include:
- If there are reported issues with drinking water in your area.
- Conditions around your well have drastically changed. For example, we deal with a lot of flooding and hurricanes in Florida so well water should be tested after either event.
- Part of the well is replaced.
- Noticeable changes in water quality.
Ground water can be susceptible to contamination when it is under direct influence of surface activity. Since this is always a unique situation, you need to stay on top of it. If there are ever any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local agency.
Treating Well Water
If you do find a contaminant in your well water, you need to call a professional to help you address it immediately. They will present you with all possible options. In the meantime, you’ll have to stop drinking it. Some issues can be addressed really quickly. For instance, installing a counter filter might be a short-term solution that you can do right away. A professional will come in and retest your water after the action is taken. In most cases, private well owners should install a home filtration system.
Well-Water Pollution Prevention Tips
Any activities near your water source need to be carefully managed. This includes making sure contaminants are kept far away from potential sinkholes and they chemicals are kept away from the septic tank. Here are some other prevention tips:
- Build a sloping area around the well so that rain water drains away from the well.
- Install a cap on the well to prevent unauthorized entry.
- Keep records of all maintenance done, including testing and actions taken to disinfect.
- Do not use pesticides or fertilizers near the well.
- Never use dry wells to dispose of hazardous waste.
- Never cut away well casing below the surface of land.
- Ensure that septic systems are pumped and inspected on a regular basis as determined by the health department in your local area.
Remember, it’s up to you to ensure the health of your family. If you are relying on well water, then make sure you keep these tips in mind.