Tampa Home Inspector Advises Seasonal Well Maintenance Testing

We’ve discussed general home maintenance during the Fall season in our other blog, Indoor Home Maintenance You Should Be Doing This Fall And Winter. Now we are going to dive even deeper into other aspects of your home that may not get a lot of attention, or maintenance—such as a well on your property. Owning a property that gets its water use from a private well has its pros and cons. Maintaining your well to reach 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 your 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 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 by 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 potential risk to your health.

How often should I perform maintenance on 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
  • Don't spray pesticides close to the well cap

If you have concerns about your well water, whether because of its taste, smell, or color, contact us to schedule a Well Water Quality Test and/or a Well Pump Inspection. Knowing your well water is safe to drink is important for the health of you and your family.

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