It is estimated that over 15 million households in the United States rely exclusively on well water as their primary source of drinking water. Well water can have several advantages over municipal water sources, but also comes with it’s own particular responsibilities. Any well specialist will tell you that it is of the utmost importance to maintain the quality of your water well. Improper maintenance can have a severe effect on anyone using the water whether they are human or animal. Make sure to get acquainted with the early problem signs.
Early Signs of Well Water Problems
Some of these signs have to do with your senses, such as water tasting putrid or otherwise displeasing, water smelling off or moldy. Other signs have to do with your household appliances such as water turning your plumbing fixtures dark or leaving a powdery residue on dishes or clothes. These are all sign that your water is not balanced. A well that is not maintained properly can be a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.
While some bacteria can be generally harmless, usually leading to bad tasting or smelling water other bacteria can make you and your family rather sick. This is why it is always important to err on the side of caution and to regularly test your well water for bacteria regularly. While some test yearly, it would be more cautious to check at least every six months. By getting in touch with your municipality’s health department you can get more information about scheduling tests as well.
In addition to testing for bacteria, you will also want to test the PH balance of your water as well. Most water has minerals such as iron and it is important make sure the balance is correct, especially for the longevity of your plumbing.
Monitoring Your Water Level and Pump Efficiency
While it is important to test the safety of the water another key element in proper well maintenance is to moderate the well level. For the most part you don?t need to be a well specialist to do this. It is important to keep an accurate record of your optimal well level. Because of differences between wells and subsequent components, each well will have a different optimal level of operation. By regularly monitoring your well level you should able to nip potential problems in the bud.
A well?s efficiency can be hindered by many external variables. If your well draws to much water it can quickly become depleted. Having in adequate filtration including blockages in the screens can lead to performance reduction and reduced life span of your well?s filtration system components.
Creating a Water Level Testing Schedule
It is possible to do much of your water level maintenance on your own, without hiring a well specialist, but you will need to rent well specialist tools, namely a dip tube or air line. These tools can usually be rented at your local well drilling company. When taking water well measurements it is important to make sure that the well is full and that the pump system is not active. Usually the best time to get this information is in the morning. For the best data you should get readings each month in order to get an accurate assessment of the efficiency of your well. For shallow wells expect to see more variation in depth depending on the season and the climate.
Also make sure to get water level data while the water pump is also active to get a full portrait of your well water system. Set a time mark to take measurements after your pump has been active for at least an hour. Just as you did with the standing level take measurements each month to get enough data.
Well Water Benefits Come With Responsibilities
Well water has several benefits. It has superior taste to municipal lines. Well water can be healthier than municipal water. And lastly well water is more environmentally friendly. But with these benefits there is a responsibility. It is important to keep your water well in peak shape in order to reap the rewards. For more information on well safety contact your local health and safety office.