A private well can be a great provider of many years-worth of clean water, but over time, wells, like any mechanical equipment, will eventually need service, and if they aren’t serviced you can get all kinds of nasty stuff in your water. The first house I owned had a private well. It was an old well and before living there I had it tested. Luckily, everything tested out fine. I tested the well a few more times during the time I lived there to make sure I was getting quality water.
When to Test a Well
In many states all new private wells are supposed to be tested for coliform bacteria, nitrate, and arsenic. The company or person constructing the well is responsible for getting the water from the well tested. If you dig and construct your own well, you have to get the water tested once you’re finished. You should also have well water tested when you first move into a house that has a private well. Even if the previous owner or Realtor tells you the well has been tested, get the water tested to make sure there are no contaminants.
As far as regular testing goes, I’d say to do things at least once a year. And get everything tested. At the very least test for coliform bacteria and nitrate, but you can—and probably should—have them run additional tests to make sure there are no other contaminants in the water. Water filters are always a good idea for well water too, but don’t rely on them to keep your water clean. No matter how good a filter is, if the water in the well is bad to begin with, you’re probably going to be drinking something you shouldn’t. Have your water tested once a year and you can be sure that you’ll always have good water.
Where to Get Well Water Tested
Many people will pay someone to come out to their house to get a water sample and look over their well to see if there are any problems. While this is a good idea to do every couple of years, it’s probably overkill to do it every year. Instead of paying someone to come out every year, just take a water sample to a certified water testing laboratory. Make sure it’s a certified lab. Not all labs are equal and taking your water sample to a certified lab will ensure that you’re getting good results. You only really need someone to come out and check the structure of your well every couple of years. If there is every a positive result for any coliform bacteria, nitrate, or arsenic, you should have your well tested more often. The last thing you want is to be drinking bad water.
What You Should Do if Your Water Tests Bad
If you test your water and it is contaminated you have a problem. The well water is contaminated for a reason. Sometimes it can be a structural problem, sometimes an environmental problem. Either way it is best to call a private well expert. The expert will be able to figure out what exactly is causing the contamination, and (hopefully) how to fix it. This probably won’t be cheap, so get a few quotes before you go with any specific person or company.
In the mean time, do not drink the water.
What Can Happen if You Drink Bad Water
In short, you’ll get sick. Waterborne diseases can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and more. These sicknesses from waterborne diseases might not affect you at first. It might take time to develop symptoms. That’s why it’s important to test your water as often as is recommended. The symptoms from water contaminants are not much different than flu symptoms, so before you go blaming your water get checked out by a doc. If he says it could be caused by your water, get your water tested.
To always make sure you have good uncontaminated water in your home make sure to change your refrigerator water filter every six months and purchase your discount water filters from Discount Filters to assure great quality healthy water.