Although it is estimated that more than 15 million households in America get their water from private wells, the EPA does not regulate the majority of these water supplies. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to have well water tested to ensure that their drinking water is safe. As such, it is wise to be familiar with the different water contaminants that can pose a threat, as well as the origin of these substances.
Groundwater can become contaminated through industrial and agricultural activities, malfunctioning sewer and septic systems, and even naturally occurring processes. If you have never had your well tested or you are buying a home with a well, it is a good idea to get a full battery of tests performed. Minerals and water contaminants you should check for include:
- Inorganic chemicals such as chloride, arsenic, copper, manganese, iron, lead and sodium.
- General water characteristics such as hardness, total dissolved solids and pH.
- Microorganisms including Giardia, Cryptosporidium and fecal coliforms.
- Contaminants associated with agricultural and industrial processes such as nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, benzene and other VOCs.
- Radon and radioactive materials such as uranium.
While well water should be tested for general water characteristics and microorganisms on a yearly basis, other water contaminants should be checked at least once every 10 years. However, if you notice changes in your water or someone becomes sick, check contaminant levels immediately. Because the quality of your drinking water is so essential, you should be aware of activities and risks that are specific to your area. For example, here in the Northeastern U.S., radon is especially a concern, and if you live in areas where drilling and fracking are prevalent, there is also an increased risk of contamination by methane and other organic water contaminants. Furthermore, if you have done any repairs to your well or septic system, or if your neighbors have had septic issues, it is advisable to have your water checked.
While home tests are available for certain water quality indicators, there are many contaminants that have no immediate or obvious effects but can be very detrimental. At Reynold’s Water Purification, we highly suggested that you have an analysis of your well water completed by our professionals who can correctly interpret the results and offer advice on how to deal with any problems that arise. For more information call us or click here for a quote.