According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15 million U.S. households regularly depend on private ground water wells. Although this water can be safe for the most part, minor maintenance neglect can result in major problems. If even just a small amount of polluted ground water is consumed, it could lead to illness and other health complications.
Seepage is the number one cause of groundwater pollution and can come from a number of different sources. These sources include landfills, failed septic tanks, fertilizers and pesticides, underground fuel tanks and runoff from urban regions. Because of the high risks involved, experts recommend regularly checking your ground water wells to ensure the safety of the supply.
Risks of well water
One of the most common contaminants a professional will check for is coliform bacteria, which indicates that disease-causing contaminants and viruses might be present. Bacteria such as iron and sulfur bacteria are not necessarily threatening to human health; however, they can produce noxious odors, colors and tastes that can both be unpleasant and clog pump and water systems.
The following risks of water contamination are important to look out for if your household depends on well water:
· Slimy films of bacteria coating the inside of tanks and piping
· Corrosion of pumping equipment and well casing
· Health complications, such as digestive problems or skin irritation
Analyzing water contaminants
It’s important to note that the Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate private water systems that serve less than 25 people per day. Without this regulation, homeowners have the responsibility to privately analyze and regulate the water supply. You can test water yourself, but a better option is to hire an expert on water conditioning to evaluate your home’s water and make personalized recommendations.
The cleansing process
Once you’ve determined the exact contaminants that are affecting your water supply, it’s time to begin the cleansing process. Shock chlorination is one common method used to eliminate a number of different bacteria in the water system. The process begins by siphoning a large supply of chlorinated water down the well to replace all of the water currently stored in this region. This mixture is strong enough to kill all of the bacteria in the system, including the entire well depth, the pressure system, the formation on the bottom of the well, water treatment equipment and the distribution system.
After these chemicals are ushered into the well, homeowners are advised to run the water in the home for several hours to completely flush the chlorine out of the system. Typically, this entire process takes about three days, which means the water can’t be used for drinking, bathing or other purposes that put the supply in direct contact with members of the home.
Regardless of whether your home has access to well water or is supplied by city water systems, there are many technologies available to make your water cleaner, safer and more palatable. From simple water softeners that eliminate minerals from your water supply to more extreme methods, you can find solutions to sub-par water in your home.