As the proud owner of a private well, you probably know that the privilege has associated responsibilities as well. You're responsible for keeping your well in working order and for testing it regularly for contaminants to keep you and your family healthy. In fact, the Groundwater Foundation suggests that you should test your well at least once per year for common problems. Here are three reasons you should follow this recommendation even if your well water has never had problems in the past.
1. Many contaminants arise from man-made situations.
If you're in the city, your well may be susceptible to contamination from man-made sewers, industrial waste, and other potential health threats. If you live in a more rural area, you could have pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, animal waste, and even your own septic system to contend with. Although your well water comes from reservoirs deep in the ground, it's not inert. Any of these man-made contaminants may have the chance to work down through the soil and contaminate the source of your water, especially if any of these centers of contamination are located near the well itself. For example, septic components should always be fifty feet away from wells at minimum for safety; if yours is near that distance, keep a close eye on it. If it's under that distance, your well may be unsafe to use.
2. Your well is vulnerable to anything in the surrounding soil.
Although contaminants from the surface can be a problem if they filter through, they're not the only problem; contaminants can enter your well water from the ground itself as well. If the composition of the topsoil or bedrock in your area includes an undesirable mineral such as arsenic or lead, monitoring their levels in your well water is critical. If the levels rise too high for safety, you may be obliged to install a filter to keep yourself and your family safe.
3. Very small amounts of contaminants can create large health problems.
Arsenic isn't a problem everywhere in the US, but if it's present in your area you The EPA's current safe limit of arsenic in drinking water is ten parts per billion. In other words, if arsenic starts leaching into your well water, it's likely to become unsafe almost immediately. And it doesn't take very many pathogens to make you sick, so detecting contamination from the surface is just as crucial. Monitoring levels of probable contaminants frequently is essential if you want to have a chance of catching the problem before it creates irreversible health problems.
These three reasons show why regularly monitoring your well water for likely contaminants is essential to your well-being. Check with your local extension office to learn which laboratory to send your water to for testing and to discover the contaminants that are most likely to be a problem in your area. To learn more, contact a company like Mayer's Well Drilling.