One of the most important parts of owning a well is making sure the water is safe to drink. Frequent water testing is the best way to make that determination. Doing this regularly is an essential part of your well system’s upkeep. Changes in water quality often occur quickly and don’t always come with a prominent signs. Testing can also reveal specific problems that require clear solutions. There is no catch-all way to treat your water in every situation, so determining your water testing frequency is essential.
This is your responsibility as a property owner. Rules that apply to public drinking water don’t apply to private wells. Since your well is perhaps your most essential household system, you’ll want to know when and how to test. This article will help you determine the water testing frequency that works best for your well and your home.
Why is Testing Frequency so Important?
If you plan on drinking, bathing, and cooking with water from your well, you’ll want your water to be safe. If your well is brand new, or you’re new to the property, your well may already have pre-existing problems. A test can reveal those issues. Regular testing and record-keeping also help you see the history of change in your well. This tracking allows you to detect patterns and plan for what may be coming throughout the year – which also enables you to manage and track any progress of treatments you’re applying to your water supply.
When is the Best Time to Test?
Generally, regular testing means annual testing, but a well with specific needs may require more frequent seasonal testing. For example, if you’re working on a treatment program with your well, it can be helpful to chart the progress of the treatment plan – but note that significant changes take time to show results. You should also test your well more often if it comes from a shallow source closer to the top of the water table, as contaminants reach these wells much faster. There are also many other cases that may require precautionary testing.
If other residents in your area are experiencing problems with their well, you’ll want to check your water too. Issues include things like sudden and apparent changes in the water’s taste, color, or odor, if there has been recent flooding which may have washed contaminants into your water table, or if parts of your water system have failed and need to be repaired, replaced, or upgraded entirely. Faulty equipment can contaminate your well, after all.
Be aware of your water uses, too. Suppose you operate a cess pit or are near waste disposal sites or other similarly hazardous sites that may create issues with your drinking water. In that case, you may wish to do additional testing throughout the year to ensure that you are remaining within safe levels. When you get your testing done, be sure to mention your needs, as certain uses may change the acceptable limit of contaminants.
Who does the Testing?
While you might not connect to any public water systems, state and public offices such as your local Health and Human Services Department can refer you to licensed and professional labs that will give you the accurate results that you need. They will test for fluoride, coliform bacteria count, sulfates, dissolved solids, pH levels, and basic water potability. They may also refer you to other laboratories that test for other issues that may present a local or developing challenge that the community is aware of.
Always be sure to work with professionals, as your water is essential. You can contact us today for more information or go directly to the source and call the local Health and Human Services Department to get started.