In the US, most households get water for drinking from a private well. This is practical and cost-efficient because people can save on expenses. They do not have to spend for drinking water for as long as the water they get from the well is safe.
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA of the US does not cover private wells. They regulate water supply to ensure that water that comes from the systems, which is delivered to the homes is potable. This means to say that water coming from private wells are not guaranteed to be safe.
The water supply in the US is considered one of the safest worldwide. However, it is still possible for water drinking sources to get contaminated and affected by different elements. These include natural minerals such as arsenic, among other chemicals. Such minerals can cause the malfunctioning in the wastewater treatment system. Also, this can be affected by pesticide use near the water source, which could contaminate the water.
How to Know if a Particular Private Well Water is Safe to Drink
When a private well is the source of drinking water, it needs to be tested. This can be done by an authorized research facility or a certified laboratory. This is an efficient way to know if water is safe for the whole family to drink and use.
The harmful parasites and bacteria, among other things, cannot be seen by the naked eye. For this reason, the way water looks does not determine if it is safe to drink.
Though people who drink water from the well do not become sick, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe. Even a number of contaminants present in well water can cause long term health conditions. Such microorganisms can be found in the surface and groundwater.
Some chemical contaminants in particular that are present in a water source can bring about chronic health illnesses, which could last for a long time. Regular testing of water will determine if water is not safe. It will guarantee that the water is treated to a satisfying level.
A private well of a household is not guaranteed to be safe even if the well a neighbor has been observed and tested to be safe. The security of a well depends on several factors such as depth, surface and underground geology as well as development of the well, to name a few. The quality of well water can change from time to time during refilling or revival due to the dry season. So, it is important to test well water and keep the results in case they are needed in the future.
There are different aspects to address in order to maintain a healthy private well, which provides safe water:
- Durability of construction: If the construction is weak, this can cause issues later on.
- Location of well: It should be determined if the neighbors have any issues
- Age of the well: The quality of water has to be checked on a regular basis.
- Nature of aquifer from where the water is taken
- Activities within the vicinity that could have an effect on the well
The deeper the well (more than 800 ft.), the cleaner the water. The recommendation of CDC is to have well water tested for contaminants like Coliform bacteria and nitrates, among others once a year.