Water is essential to all life. Plants need it; animals need it; people need it. The human body is primarily made up of water (70%!) and can start shutting down if it goes just days without it. While water is essential, clean drinking water can be an issue for some—even right here in Florida. Contaminated well water can lead to a variety of illnesses: cholera, typhoid, lead poisoning, etc.
So, how do you know if your well water quality is safe?
Risk factors for a contaminated water source can include the location of the well and property, the age of the well and well pump, prior contamination and treatment, and the condition and upkeep of the well water pump.
Well Water Quality Testing
Having a well pump and water quality inspection is one definitive way to ensure the potable water in your home coming from a well is safe. There are different levels of well water quality testing and the extent of your water test may depend on the above listed conditions. It is common to test for the following high-risk issues:
Potability: Potability determines the safe quality of water for use in cooking, drinking, and bathing. This comprehensive level testing checks the pH level as well as the levels of nitrates, iron, manganese, and other common contaminates.
Coliform Bacteria: Common risk factor for well pumps on farm or rural land. A well-known variation of this bacteria is E. Coli.
Nitrate: A common element in groundwater that can interfere with the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. This is especially harmful for infants, particularly those under 6 months of age.
Ion Levels: Other common elements like iron, chloride, sulfate, manganese, fluoride, and sodium can affect the taste, smell, and quality of the water.
Sulfate: Specific Testing: In areas known for high sulfate levels, this may be tested for specifically. High levels of sulfate in a well can cause digestive disruption and cause dehydration as a result.
Fluoride: Fluoride can be good for teeth in very small doses; however, high levels of fluoride can have the opposite effect, leading to long term dental issues as well as potential thyroid problems.
TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): This test helps identify contaminates that may affect the condition and health of your plumbing but may not affect the potability of the water.
Other types of tests may be requested or recommended by your well pump and water quality inspector if there are reasons to suspect unusual or rare types of contamination.
Analysis by a certified laboratory is the only way to know for sure. Chemical contaminants found in a water source can cause long term health problems that may take years to develop. AcuSystem Inspectors can collect water samples correctly for laboratory analysis to provide you with peace of mind.
Water samples should be collected at the source as well at the tap. The enables you to determine if the where the contamination is at—in your well or in your pipes—and provide a clear path for treatment recommendations.
Hillsborough and Pinellas County Water Quality Testing
If its that time of the year to conduct your well pump inspection and water quality test or if you are buying a property with a well on it and want to ensure it is providing safe drinking water for you and your family, contact AcuSytem Inspections.