Around 15 million American homes are supplied with water from a private well. This provides all the water for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and other tasks in the home. Private well water has no EPA oversight; every user needs to take responsibility for their own water quality. It can be a challenge to monitor and ensure that your well water is clean and safe to use. This is especially important when you consider that recent USGS studies found that 23% of private wells contained at least one contaminant. Around 7 million Americans get sick from waterborne illnesses annually. Many contaminants are tasteless, odorless, and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Let’s take a look at four good reasons to regularly test the quality of your private well water.
- Coliform Bacteria
This includes bacteria like E.coli and Giardia, which can enter your well through manure or sewage or perhaps a septic tank. These types of bacteria often come from animal waste or the decomposition of animals, and they are harmful to human health. In many cases, you can smell or see the presence of these bacteria, and they tend to surge after storms or during flooding. This is because agricultural runoff occurs, and this can move coliform bacteria into your well water supplies. If you consume water that contains coliform bacteria, you’re likely to get diarrhea or an upset stomach.
Copper does occur naturally, but if you notice blue or green discoloration in your water, it means that you have high concentrations of copper in your well water. The cause could be corrosion in your copper pipes which would indicate a problem with your plumbing system. But, well water with a pH level lower than 7 is considered to be acidic, and this can be caused by local manufacturing or mining activities.
- Iron and Manganese
Again, iron and manganese are naturally occurring minerals, and water typically contains them in various concentrations. But, if you live in an area with large formations of shale, coal, and limestone nearby, it can affect the groundwater. Your private well is fed by the groundwater in your locality, and high concentrations of iron and manganese can cause problems. If you notice that your water has a metallic task or you have reddish and brown stains on fixtures and laundry, this may be the cause.
- Hydrogen Sulfide
If your water smells like “rotten eggs,” it’s likely that you have hydrogen sulfide gas trapped in your well water. This is caused by a high local sulfur content, which is common in areas located near marshland or farms. Drinking and using that contains hydrogen sulfide isn’t harmful, but it’s not likely that a person could stand the stench for long. Hydrogen sulfide can cause black stains, and it can even damage your plumbing system in high concentrations.
If you want to schedule professional water testing for your private well, contact your local certified water specialist today.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.