Contaminated Well Water?
A little known fact, but many households use well water across a great deal of the U.S. This is particularly true in rural and farming communities. Since this water reaches your home without the benefit of professional treatment from a municipal facility, this means that you and your family may be very vulnerable to man made toxins and natural contaminants.
Although the EPA regulates the levels of contaminants permissible in municipal supplies, it has no jurisdictional authority over private wells. It is in fact the responsibility of the home or property owner to ensure that their well water is potable and safe to drink. As a result, is important to understand how outside elements can infiltrate your well water supply, introducing potentially harmful contaminants and toxins. This knowledge will allow you to properly monitor your well water supply and reduce the risk of your family drinking contaminated and potentially harmful water.
Understanding How Toxins are Introduced:
There are literally several thousands potentially dangerous microorganisms and organic and inorganic compounds which can enter into your well water through the soil. From chemicals, fertilizers and disinfectants to agricultural products and industry debris, many of these toxins can be absorbed into the ground and runoff into well water. The origin and source of many different toxins is vast. They include animal waste, runoff from agriculture, paint or corrosion from pipes and plumbing systems.
In several situations, the toxins enter the well water as a direct result of the homeowner or their neighbors. The very nature of a well, as an area of the ground which draws in water for accumulation, means that it lends itself to potential hazardous contamination. This means that if you or any of your neighbors are using fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or any other toxic materials, it is very possible to enter your drinking water. But there are other sources of contamination. If there is even the smallest crack in a septic tank nearby, or sewage or just erosion of natural deposits it will allow pathogenic organisms to infiltrate your well water supply as well, which could cause nitrates in the water supply.
What Do You Do to Ensure that Your Water is TRULY Safe?
Since countless potentially harmful toxins do not even alter the appearance or taste of your water, it is important that you ensure that your well water be tested regularly. According to the CDC, property owners should have their well water tested at least once a year. It is also recommended that your well water be tested if there are known problems in your area or there have been industrial or agricultural issues near your well, such as nearby industry and waste disposal operations, land disturbances or even flooding. You should also test the water if you repair or replace any component of your well system or if there has been a boil notice in your area.
Of course, if you notice any changes in the color, taste or odor in your drinking water, you should immediately have it tested. This is typically a sign that there is potentially an issue.
Another consideration for protecting your well water supply as well as your household from potential toxins, is to install a domestic water treatment system. Many of these systems are able to completely eliminate contaminants and toxins from well water supplies. These include bacteria, disease causing microorganisms, waterborne viruses or harmful elements such as arsenic, nitrate and even lead. These types of systems are available as under the counter reverse osmosis units or whole house systems, ensuring that your drinking water is consistently clean and safe, without needing to resort to costly store bought bottled water.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
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. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state, 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.