Well water is, generally speaking, better tasting, lower in chemicals, lower in cost, and better for the environment. So, it’s no surprise that more and more people are putting in wells for their individual water needs. But wells do require some maintenance in order to get the best out of them. One of the main maintenance tasks is water testing. Because the city is not responsible for testing private water supplies, you will have to test to ensure the water is safe to drink. Keep reading to learn more about what to test for and how to get started.

When To Test Well Water

A good rule-of-thumb is to test your well water at least once a year. To help you remember, it is a good idea to choose a season, Spring for instance, and test around the same time every year. However there are certain occurrences and circumstances where you may want to test more frequently. Of primary concern would be if there is a frequent, recurrent gastrointestinal illness in the home. Other circumstances would include:

  • If there is an infant in the home. You will want to ensure the best water quality, as infants do not yet have the gut bacteria to protect them like an adult would. If well water is used to prepare formula or bathe the infant, testing will need to be done more frequently.
  • Septic system malfunction
  • A sudden change in odor, taste, color, or anything else
  • Any problems such as a broken cap, introduction of floodwaters, or any other source of contamination is introduced
  • The system has a history of contamination or malfunction
  • As desired to monitor efficiency and performance

What To Test For

You will want to test for two things: total coliforms and pH level. Coliform bacteria are tiny microbes in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, soil, plants, and in surface water. These microbes are typically safe, but, because microbes that do cause disease are hard to test for in the water, “total coliforms” are tested instead. If the total coliform count is high, it is possible that harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, and parasites could be in the water as well. The pH level tells you how acidic or alkaline your water is. The level can change the color and taste of your water. If the pH is too high or too low it can cause damage to the system and could eventually make you sick.

How To Test

You can purchase test kits yourself from any of several labs that are recommended by the EPA as well as county or state health departments. These tests can be expensive and take time as you must deliver your water sample to the lab for testing, and the results can be quite technical and difficult to interpret. We at American Pump Services can come to you and perform the tests ourselves. We can then help you to understand exactly what your system needs to operate at its best. Contact us today for more information about well water testing.