Industrial waste, chemicals, heavy metals, and other contaminants can make their way into groundwater, contaminating your well. Private well owners should make testing their well water regularly a priority. Regular well water testing can help monitor water quality. With periodic well water testing, you will have all the necessary information to evaluate the risk of contamination.
How often should I test my well water? This is one of the most common questions well owners ask trusted well contractors like Weeks Drilling.
Many health organizations recommend testing well water annually. If you have a shallow well or your well is located close to potential sources of contamination, you will want to have an expert test your well water more frequently – preferably every season.
The Most Dangerous Contaminants Found in Well Water
The EPA has identified five major well water contaminants – heavy metals, radionuclides, microbiological contaminants, fluoride, and nitrates. They can affect water color and taste. Exposure to these contaminants can cause serious, even life-threatening, health problems.
➢ Heavy Metals: Some heavy metals in well water include selenium, arsenic, copper, lead, and chromium. A high concentration of heavy metals in the human body can damage vital organs such as the liver and kidneys. Heavy metal contamination can occur when your old plumbing lines corrode, and copper or lead from them dissolves into your well water. Industrial runoff can also contaminate your well water.
➢ Radionuclides: Radionuclides are naturally occurring as well as manmade. Some radionuclides include uranium, radon, and radium. Common sources of radionuclides are mining waste and waste produced by nuclear power plants and medical facilities. If you live near a hospital or a nuclear power plant, radioactive particles can seep into groundwater, contaminating your well water.
➢ Microbiological Contaminants: Naturally occurring microbiological contaminants such as E.coli bacteria, Salmonella Typhi, and Salmonella Paratyphi A. They are found in soil and human and animal waste.
➢ Fluoride: Drinking water should not contain more than two mg/L of fluoride. Wells drilled deep underground into bedrock are more likely to have high natural fluoride concentration than dug wells.
➢ Nitrates: Nitrates are naturally occurring compounds. They are found in sewage runoff, animal and industrial waste, and fertilizers.
Regular Well Water Testing Can Reveal Water Quality Issues
Do you, like many other homeowners, think that well water testing is an unnecessary expense? Think again! As a homeowner, you are responsible for managing your private water well. If your well becomes contaminated, it can contaminate nearby water sources, and you can find yourself in legal trouble.
Water from a contaminated well can cause a whole host of health problems. Just because your well water is clear or tastes normal, do not automatically assume it is devoid of contaminants. Sometimes the signs of well water contamination are very subtle. For example, many contaminants are colorless and odorless. Only water tests can reveal their presence.
Regular well water testing lets you know whether your well water is fit for consumption. Regular well water testing can also help you monitor the levels of heavy metals, microbiological pollutants, radionuclides, and other contaminants in well water. If tests reveal elevated levels of contaminants in your well water, you will want to have your contractor inspect your well sooner rather than later.
Regular well water testing can help identify early warning signs of contamination, allowing you to address the problem before it snowballs into a major concern. In addition, it can provide important information on well water quality. If the civic authority or your neighbor alleges that you have failed to maintain your well, you can use well water testing records to refute their claims.
Some Useful Water Tests Every Private Well Owner Should Have Done Periodically
There are several tests designed to help assess water quality. These tests can help determine if certain materials or pathogens are present in your well water and the steps you can take to improve water quality.
Here are some water tests you should get done periodically.
➢ Bacteria Tests: These tests help estimate the amount and type of bacteria present in well water.
➢ Mineral Tests: These help determine the level of different minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and copper in well water.
➢ pH Testing: pH measures the acidity or basicity of liquid solutions. When the pH level of water exceeds 8.5, it tastes bitter.
➢ Basic Water Potability: It is conducted to determine the level of sulfates, coliform bacteria, sodium, and fluoride in well water.
➢ Total Dissolved Solids or TDS: TDS measures the concentration of dissolved organic and inorganic substances in well water.
In addition to having your well water tested at periodic intervals, inspect your well regularly. Physical inspections can help you spot issues leading to well water contamination. During an inspection:
➢ Inspect your well’s seal to ensure it is intact. If you notice any cracks, fix them straight away.
➢ Check your well pump to see if it is working correctly. If it is leaking lubricating oil, have a mechanic inspect it as soon as possible.
➢ Inspect pipes for signs of damage.
Weeks Drilling & Pump Co. offers a wide range of water treatment services. We also drill wells. Our unparalleled ability to understand customer needs and develop customized solutions to meet them sets us apart from other groundwater firms. To schedule your private well drilling in Santa Rosa, call (707) 823-3184.