Water safety has been in the news plenty lately as lead and other contaminants have made headlines across the country. However, these concerns have mainly dealt with city drinking water that has apparently gone through plenty of testing and filtering to get rid of a variety of germs and chemicals. If city water can have such huge problems, it is certain that well water can be just as bad. To ensure that well water is clean and safe, follow these four important steps.
Numerous independent labs offer well water testing. A simple test for bacteria should cost around $30 or less while a more extensive test including chemical levels could cost up to $100. Usually all that is required is a small sample of tap water that can be mailed into the lab. Even if individuals do not think that anything is wrong with their water, they should still go through the testing because some issues do not cause bad smells, tastes or colors.
Once individuals get back their lab testing results, they should compare these numbers with well water information sheets. Each state should have listings specific to their area that will take into account common chemicals that can leach through the soils. Some companies, such as Water Systems Council, know that these sheets can often be accessed through the Environmental Protection Agency Website. The sheets will list typical water problems along with safe levels.
A local expert will be the best person to correct well water problems. These individuals can often be found through the local public water system or a county health agencies. Well-water contractors can provide helpful solutions for repairing wells.
Of course, the best way to keep well water clean is to prevent contaminants from entering. New wells should only be installed by certified drillers. Pesticides, herbicides and other dangerous chemicals should never be used by the well, and visible problems, such as cracked surfaces, should be repaired immediately.
To be sure that well water is clean and healthy, homeowners must have their wells checked yearly for bacteria and nitrates and every three to five years for other chemicals. They should also use additional testing if they are expecting a baby, are changing their water systems or have noticed changes in the taste, smell or color of the water. The cost is well worth it for the peace of mind and overall health that individuals will gain.