Why does well water maintenance and testing matter?
Furthermore, almost 40% of the U.S. population relies on well water for their main drinking (and cleaning) supply.
If you rely on well water, what can you do to ensure safe drinking water?
WHAT IS PROPER WELL WATER MAINTENANCE?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Ground Water Association (NGWA), every homeowner and region requires different maintenance. However, the major well water maintenance checks remain the same across the country.
- Test well every year. Annual test inspect wells for mechanical problems, cleanliness and the presence of certain contaminants, including coliform bacteria, nitrates/nitrites and any local contaminants. Test well water more frequently if members of your family experience stomach issues or illnesses. Also, test well water if anyone notices a change in taste, odor or appearance of your water.
- Ensure separation of home systems. Consult with a professional water service technician reviewing your home systems, such as water, waste and chemical storage (if applicable) remain separate and do not mix.
- Store hazardous materials properly. Any home that contains possible contaminants, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides or motor oil must be stored away from your well.
- Check the well cover or cap. Part of routine checks includes ensure the well remains covered or capped. Plus, the top of the well should be at least one foot above the ground.
- Work with a professional to close a well because improperly abandoned wells create a safety concern. Typically, wells maintain a servicable life around 20 years. Always work with an experienced water technician to decommission your existing well and construct a new well. Professional water technicians ensure the wells remain correctly sealed. Improperly sealed wells potentially act as a surface water conduit that may contaminate groundwater.
For more information about well water maintenance in Connecticut, then the Connecticut Department of Public Health offers an array of information.
WHAT IS THE BEST WELL WATER MAINTENANCE GUIDANCE?
Homeowners want safe and clean drinking water. However, not every homeowner understands the nuances of maintaining a well. Fortunately, there are some simple well water maintenance strategies that help ensure safe drinking water. Understand the things any homeowner can complete and the things that require professional assistance.
1. WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL TECHNICIAN TO SERVICE YOUR WELL.
Generally, homeowners lack the experience to properly service their own wells. Wells require qualified professional water contractors because proper service needs specialized equipment, materials, and techniques that keep wells operational and water supplies safe. The NGWA provides an example:
“AT THE NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION (NGWA), WE’VE HEARD COUNTLESS STORIES OF WELL-INTENTIONED HOMEOWNERS FOULING UP THEIR WELLS IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIX A PROBLEM. FOR INSTANCE, THERE’S THE GENTLEMAN WHO POURED SIX GALLONS OF BLEACH DOWN HIS WELL TO GET RID OF AN ODOR IN THE WATER. AFTER FLUSHING THOUSANDS OF GALLONS OF WATER OUT OF HIS WELL, THE ODOR HE WAS UNABLE TO ELIMINATE WAS THE BLEACH.”
2. PREVENTATIVE WELL WATER MAINTENANCE SAVES MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.
In a recent NGWA poll, 80% of respondents never heard about well water inspections. As a result, small potential issues grow into large expensive problems. Similar to changing the oil in your car or seasonal HVAC inspections, annual well water maintenance saves money over time. For example, an easy preventative maintenance just takes a few minutes. Periodically, clear the area around your well and ensure it remains debris free.
3. LEARN ABOUT WELL WATER SYSTEMS.
Although wells requires professional assistance, homeowners should still learn about their systems. As we all learn over time, not every technician or contractor offers the level of experience. Therefore, take some time and understand the core components of your system. To help, the NGWA offers an overview of a standard well water maintenance inspection.
“A WELL MAINTENANCE CHECK-UP SHOULD INCLUDE FOUR COMPONENTS. FIRST, IS A FLOW TEST TO DETERMINE SYSTEM OUTPUT, ALONG WITH A CHECK OF THE WATER LEVEL BEFORE AND DURING PUMPING (IF POSSIBLE), PUMP MOTOR PERFORMANCE (CHECK AMP LOAD, GROUNDING, AND LINE VOLTAGE), PRESSURE TANK AND PRESSURE SWITCH CONTACT, AND GENERAL WATER QUALITY (ODOR, CLOUDINESS, ETC.). NEXT, IS AN INSPECTION OF WELL EQUIPMENT TO ASSURE THAT IT IS SANITARY AND MEETS LOCAL CODE REQUIREMENTS. THIRD, IS A TEST OF YOUR WATER FOR COLIFORM BACTERIA AND NITRATES, AND ANYTHING ELSE OF LOCAL CONCERN SHOULD BE PERFORMED. FINALLY, A CONCISE, CLEAR, WRITTEN REPORT SHOULD BE DELIVERED TO YOU FOLLOWING THE CHECK-UP THAT EXPLAINS RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND INCLUDES ALL LABORATORY AND OTHER TEST RESULTS.”
4. UNDERSTAND PROPER CONSTRUCTION AND INSTALLATION.
As part of learning about well water systems, homeowners should understand the basics behind the proper construction and installation of a home well. SimpleWater, a water testing, analysis and health data company shares the basics of well construction.
“FIRST, THE CASING OF YOUR WELL SHOULD BE CAPPED OFF BY A SANITARY SEAL/CONCRETE COVER THAT STANDS APPROXIMATELY 12” ABOVE GROUND. THIS KEEPS UNWANTED PESTS AND SURFACE WATER OUT. SECOND, YOU’LL WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR WELL WAS INSTALLED A MINIMUM OF 50 FEET FROM YOUR SEPTIC TANK AND AT LEAST 100 FEET FROM THE SEPTIC SYSTEM’S DRAINAGE FIELD, ALTHOUGH THESE DISTANCES CAN VARY DEPENDING UPON STATE REGULATIONS. FINALLY, THE GROUND SURROUNDING YOUR WELL SHOULD SLOPE AWAY FROM THE WELL IN ORDER TO PREVENT WATER POOLING.”
HOW DOES SOLVIT WATER HELP?
SolvIt Water offers a wide range of services that keeps your well water system functioning properly and operating at peak performance. From well pump and storage tank replacement to complete system repairs, SolvIt Water does it all! At no-charge to you, one of SolvIt Water’s Well & Pump Specialists will conduct comprehensive water well inspection covering the following components of your system:
- Inspect condition of valves and piping ensuring serviceability and code compliance
- Check pressure switch for operation and proper adjustment
- Check functionality and condition of pressure gauge
- Inspect storage tank for corrosion and test for proper air pressure
- Check well pump for voltage and overall performance
- Visually inspect the condition of well cap and casing
- Inspect water treatment and filtration equipment
SolvIt Water contains the proper licensure and experience to handle any situation. We are qualified water treatment specialists and offer a FREE in-home inspection. If you are worried about your well water, then contact us today!