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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogWell water is not processed in the same way as a municipal water supply. Since there is no water treatment plant, you will have to take action to protect your well water. These four tips can help you to keep your well water supply clean and healthy. Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides Although you will not be able to control what your neighbors do on their property, it is a good idea to avoid using pesticides and herbicides on yours. These chemicals can leach into the groundwater and contaminate your well water supply. Even a low quantity of these chemicals could lead to serious health consequences. If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, look for one that has been extensively tested and shown to be non-toxic. Well Maintenance and Repairs Even if the groundwater itself is clean, a malfunctioning well could introduce contaminants. Well pumps require some lubricants in order to pump in sub-freezing temperatures. Improper placement of the lubricant could cause some to contaminate the water. Bacterial, parasitic or viral growth could also occur in the water because of a pump malfunction. Be sure to schedule regular well pump maintenance and repairs. Testing Your Well Water Testing your well water is critical for your family's health and safety. The testing process should be done once every one to two years. Keep copies of the results so that you can track any changes over the course of time. Each state has different hazards that may be present in the water. Companies like the Water Systems Council offer guidance on a state by state basis so that you can determine which types of tests are needed for your location. Septic Maintenance Most people with well water also have a septic tank for the processing of waste water. Be sure that your septic tank is located away from the well, preferable downstream from it. Regular septic system maintenance is key to ensuring that none of the raw sewage is able to escape from the pipes or tanks and reach the well. Be sure to schedule a septic tank pumping service about every three years. A clean and green supply of well water is essential to your health. Keeping contaminants off of your property and scheduling regular maintenance will help to keep the well's pump and your septic system working properly. Regularly testing your water will provide you with the information you need and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your water is safe.
We all know we must have water in order to survive. Many people do not question the safety of the water that comes out of their tap. According to the US Geological Survey, approximately 15% of individuals use private well water for their drinking water source. But is such water safe? We will look at 3 ways to ensure your well water is safe for consumption. Pay Attention to Warning Signs Many well system owners rely upon their wells for drinking water and water for cooking and cleaning without thinking twice about whether or not the water is safe and clean to drink. There are some warning signs that should lead well water owners to consider the possibility that their well system needs to be tested. Some of those warning signs include: Bad taste or unusual smell Stains or residue in clothes or fixtures Water is not clear, it is cloudy Plumbing fixtures corrode faster than expected Family members with severe GI issues Educate Yourself on Maintaining Your Private Well Water System Many well system owners are not aware that water testing should be conducted on a regular basis and especially if any of the warning signs of possible contamination are present. If you are the owner of a private well water system, an easy place to begin to educate yourself about how to maintain a safe well is to use the resources of the Water Systems Council. This nonprofit has an excellent website where well owners can find a local resource to have their well water tested (usually through a division of the state’s department of health and environmental safety. Obtain Annual Testing Many water well owners are not aware that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends annual testing of private wells for what are called ‘indicator organisms’ as well as nitrate. The presence of the indicator organisms often predicts the presence of other dangerous organisms such as Giardia or E coli. The EPA also recommends additional testing be conducted every 5-10 years. The price of individual tests differs from state to state. If you own a private well, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your family has access to safe drinking water that is free from contaminants. Remember: pay attention to warning signs of possible contamination, educate yourself on testing and maintenance that should be conducted to ensure that your well is free from dangerous contaminants, and obtain recommended testing of your well water from a reliable local source.