The arrival of spring is often a joyous feeling. As the flowers begin to bloom and the trees start to bud, you can start to enjoy warmer and longer days. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, and the arrival of spring can bring some new challenges and issues for your water supply, particularly if your home has a private well. Throughout the United States, approximately 12 million households rely on a private well for their drinking water, so if this applies to you, you should be aware of the common well water springtime issues and how to deal with them. 

Salt Contamination 

Over the colder winter months, many roads are treated with a salt or salt and sand mixture. This is designed to protect motorists from slippery, slick roads, but this salt is highly water soluble and will often end up in lakes, streams and the groundwater, leading to well water contamination during the spring.  

The salt mixtures applied to roads in areas with heavy snowfall are often blended with snow when it is plowed from the road surfaces. As the snow banks melt, the salts migrate through the soil into the water table. Water supplies can also be compromised by runoff from large piles of salt.  

Fortunately, there are efficient and effective ways to deal with salt contamination. There are a number of domestic filtration devices that can eliminate unwanted contaminants including salts to ensure your water supply is protected.  

Agricultural Runoff 

Another common springtime well water issue is agricultural runoff. If you live in an agricultural area, it is possible that the rainfall, snow, and irrigation in the area can allow runoff to compromise your water supply. Runoff occurs when the water used for irrigation leaves the fields, picking up pollutants and depositing contaminated water into nearby rivers, streams, and lakes. This issue is exacerbated when there is heavy rainfall or snow in the winter.  

The most effective way to combat this issue is ensuring your well is placed on higher ground. When a well is drilled close to farm facilities or downhill of agricultural activities, it is more likely to have contamination issues due to wet weather runoff.

There are also water treatment solutions that are designed to eliminate the chemicals and any other pollutants from agricultural runoff.  

Seasonal Smells 

When the ground starts to thaw, you may notice that your water supply develops a distinct odor. Bad odors can make your whole home smell like rotten eggs or sewage. This problem is usually a result of the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. Even low concentrations of this gas can be noticeable and create issues around your home. Although sulfur is not considered a health hazard, the smell can be unpleasant and cause a nuisance to your household. Fortunately, there are filters designed to eliminate this odor by oxidizing the sulfur, allowing it to be eliminated from your water supply.  

The EPA recommends private well owners test their water supply at least once a year. If you have concerns about your well water quality, you should consult a professional water treatment specialist. A fully WQA certified technician can not only test your water for contaminant levels, but recommend systems that provide the highest standards of water treatment.

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.