In the U.S. we take clean water for granted, all public water is disinfected to a basic degree and they meet the standards for cleanliness set down by the EPA. But, homeowners with private wells are responsible for the testing and maintenance of their own wells. Around 25% of wells tested in our nation exceed the recommended limits for contamination. So, to make your well water safe to consume, water treatment is necessary. In this article, we will look at how you can make your well water drinkable.

Is Untreated Well Water Safe to Consume?

No. Although groundwater has been filtered through various strata of sand, solid, and rock it cannot be relied upon to be safe for use. Even if the water tastes good there may be microorganisms, such as E. coli, coliforms, and bacteria living in it. Other contaminants, including pesticides and nitrates, can be found in water that appears to be clean and safe for consumption.

Treating Well Water

There are many water treatment options to consider depending on the contaminants found in your well water. Regular laboratory water testing is the only way to truly understand the makeup of your water. The water test data will help you to make informed decisions on the right water treatment systems to use in your home. Let’s take a look at five water treatment systems that you may want to consider:

  1. Sediment Filters: these will protect other water treatment systems and your plumbing system from damage.
  2. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filters: These filters have a very large filtration area compacted into a small format, which has tiny pores to trap contaminants. A GAC filter is ideal for removing radon, fluoride, pesticides, VOCs, and other chemical contaminants.
  3. A Water Softener: These systems can remove the dissolved minerals that create a buildup of scale, which can damage your plumbing and water treatment systems. Some modern water softeners can also remove iron, nitrates, arsenic, heavy metals, manganese, and even some radioactive materials.
  4. Acid Neutralizers: If the water pH is below 6.4 it’s considered to be acidic, and it can corrode your water carrying pipes. These systems dissolve magnesium or calcite into the water to raise the pH level to neutral.
  5. Reverse Osmosis (RO): A RO filtration system is highly effective at removing a wide variety of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, chloride, copper, magnesium, fluoride, radium, sulfates, lead, and many others.

Shock Chlorination Treatment

After floodwater and extensive runoff, it’s advisable to shock the well with chlorination tablets to disinfect the water system. The process must be carefully monitored to reach 200 mg of chlorine per liter of water, and there are free online calculators that can help you. All carbon filters must be removed before shock chlorination, or the process will not be effective. During this process, the water is not safe to drink for 12-24 hours, and advanced planning is needed to maintain good hydration.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your well water, contact your local water treatment 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.