The Importance of Well Water Testing

AcuSystem Inspectors have recently found well water with bacteria at multiple homes. Is your water safe? Testing the water from a well on your property is an important aspect of maintaining your well and ensuring your water comes from a safe and reliable source. The results of well water testing can help you identifies issues of concern within your well water system as well as identify the type of contaminants that are getting in. AcuSystem Inspectors can also provide you with a recommended course of action to treat your well water system and tips to keep it operating smoothly in the future.

When should I have my well water tested?

Well water quality can change, even suddenly, and it is possible for these changes to go undetected by look, smell, or taste. According to the Groundwater Foundation, you should have your well water tested annually at a minimum. Drinking water from shallow wells should be tested more often because they pose a higher risk of becoming contaminated and as potable water, it would be detrimental to you and your family to be unknowingly consuming water from a contaminated source. We recommended scheduling routine testing every few months—the best way to keep up is by scheduling a well water test with every seasonal change.

Is well water testing only for contamination checks?

Well water testing is primarily used to identify a safe a reliable water source but there are many other reasons to have a well water test done. Well water testing can be used to identify and address any problems (like high levels of sulfate and subsequent treatment options). Testing can also serve to track changes to the quality of your well over time and determine if an applied treatment system is working as intended.

Importance of Well Water Testing

Well Water Testing Options

There are several types of tests that can be conducted on your well water system.

  • Basic Water Potability Test: Checks to ensure your well can provide safe drinking water. This test includes a check for coliform bacteria, pH, sodium, nitrates, fluoride, chloride, iron, manganese, sulfate, water hardness, and total dissolved solids.
  • Coliform Bacteria: Specific testing for the presence of harmful microorganisms.
  • Nitrate: High levels of nitrate affects the ability of the blood to carry oxygen to the body, which is particularly dangerous for infants and those who are medically at risk for high nitrate levels.
  • Ions: Ions tests identify the levels of sulfate, iron, sodium, chloride, and manganese. These elements can affect the taste and smell of your water.
  • Sulfate: Too much sulfate in your well water can cause gastrointestinal issues like gas or diarrhea.
  • Fluoride: While fluoride is an essential micro-nutrient, consuming too much can cause dental problems.
  • Total Dissolved Solids: Tests for the total presence of non-organic substances (like sulfate or sodium). Too high of a level can change the taste of your water—and your overall desire to consume it.
  • Other: Above are the most common tests conducted on well water, but they are not the only testing options available. Additional laboratory testing can be conducted, especially when there is suspicion of a particular type of contamination—like arsenic or pesticide contamination if the well is located close to a source of these chemicals.

Is your water safe for consumption?  Analysis by a certified laboratory is the only way to know. 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.

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