Owning a property that gets its water use from a private well has its pros and cons. Maintaining your well to reach your its optimal water quality is a must. When you use water from a private well, that water’s safety conditions are 100% your responsibility and this can weigh heavily on the homeowner to feel a need to keep up with their water’s conditions. Therefore, maintaining your well the correct way is important.
How often should I test my well water?
Water from you well should be tested at least once a year. Many homeowners who use private wells as a water source may not be aware of this and not knowing can cause major health concerns. The right time to test your well water has many determining factors that play into it. Depending on your location, soil composition and what containment you are looking for will determine when the right time to test your water is.
What are some common problems that I could look out for in my well water?
There are two basic problems that are common in private wells, coliform bacteria and nitrate. Spring is a season when bacteria are more susceptible to entering well water due to the increase in precipitation. The more rain you have, the higher the chance of you possibly having bacteria in your well water, especially when a well has a thin soil over a fractured bedrock. During the summer and early fall is when your well water will tend to show the highest level of bacteria in the water once tested. Areas that experience lots of cold weather are most susceptible to coliform bacteria contamination in those winter months as well.
A high level of nitrates in your water can be caused from surface activities that impact the groundwater, like nearby farms and yard fertilizers. If you live on a farm, near one, or use fertilizers regularly on your property, then it is recommended you test your water more than once a year, like before the change of every season. If problems are around when testing your well water, do not underestimate the problem or delay taking action. It is suggested that you pursue professional help to rid your water of any problems as soon as possible to minimize any potention risk to your health.
How often should I maintenance my well?
Well property owners are also responsible for maintenance of their well throughout the year alongside with making sure their water is safe. A visual inspection of your system should be done once per year. Watch for things like bugs, cracks, or openings that have appeared on the well’s structure. If there is physical damage found to the well, you should call a professional to have the well serviced.
The following are some tips for preventing physical damage and water contamination of your well:
Don’t put a covering over the well cap and conduit
Don’t allow animals to relieve themselves around the well
Be extra cautious when using lawn mowers and other equipment near the well
Don’t tie up your dog to your well cap or your conduit