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  • Writer's pictureWest Winds Water Well

Is Well Water Safe?

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Water spilling onto ground from water well

Well water is water that is accessed by drilling into the ground and pumping the water up to the surface. This process is done in a way to attempt to eliminate any contaminants of the water, but further maintenance is necessary to ensure the water is clean and safe to drink.

Some of the contaminants that can be present in well water are nitrites/nitrates, coliform bacteria, and others.

What are Nitrites & Nitrates?

Many foods and water contain some trace amount of nitrites & nitrates from fertilizer run off, animal waste etc. it is usually not enough to be harmful. There is however a point when these levels can be harmful to your health (Water Research Center).

What is Coliform Bacteria?

According to Google Dictionary, "[Coliform bacteria is] a rod-shaped bacterium, especially Escherichia coli and members of the genus Aerobacter, found in the intestinal tract of humans and other animals. Its presence in water indicates fecal contamination and can cause diarrhea and other dysenteric symptoms."

Tap dripping water

How do I know if my well water has these contaminants?

  • There should be an annual checking and testing of the wells for cleanliness, mechanical problems, and the presence of some types of contaminants like nitrites/nitrates, coliform bacteria, and others.

  • The water from the well should be tested at least once every year, if it so happens that people suffer from gastrointestinal ailments, and also if it is discovered that there is a change in odor, appearance, or taste of the water.

  • Hazardous materials like fertilizers, pesticides, paint, etc. should be at a safe distance away from the well.

  • It is important to contact a professional, in order to verify that chemical storage facilities, home, and waste systems, are properly separated from each other.

  • Ensure that the well cover is always intact at all times, and for safety purposes, it is important to have the top of the well above the ground by at least one feet.

  • When your water well has gotten to its serviceable life, it is important to get a certified or licensed pump installer and well constructors to decommission the well, and perhaps create a new one.

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