Once you decide to install/dig a well, you automatically assume all the responsibilities for the safety of the water inside. This is, of course, challenging for many. The reason is, thousands of pollutants exist, all of which could vitiate your water. This is worrying as consuming such water could result in severe health complications or even death. That is why you are often advised to test well water. In the event you find issues, you are required to take measures to clean it.
Follow through to the end to understand all of this clearly.
How to Properly Test Well Water for Bacterial Contamination
If done correctly, well water testing could save you from bacterial poisoning. By “correctly,” we mean following the right procedures and involving qualified experts.
Below is a guide to help you test your water properly;
1. Draw Water Samples Directly From the Well
Lower a small container tied to a rope into the well and draw a pint of water. If you are using a pump, it is still ok. You just have to disconnect the filters and switch on the pump. After that, collect fresh unfiltered water from the other end.
2. Use a Home Well Water Testing Kit to Test for Contaminants.
Purchase a well water testing kit from any hardware store near you. Make sure you follow the specific kit’s instructions to the letter. The reason for this is that different kits have different rules/ways of use. All in all, the main principle involves dipping the test kit in water (sample) and waiting for the results.
NOTE: A home well water test kit is a reliable but not conclusive method of testing for contaminants. It only indicates if the water is contaminated or not.
3. Mail Sample to Lab
Getting detailed test results using a home kit is close to impossible. Now, this is where water testing labs come in. Mail water samples to a credible lab and wait for experts to send analyzed results. Mail kits are a significant upgrade. This is mainly because they test for more than 50 contaminants. However, they are a bit pricier than the home kits. All in all, they are worth it!
Well Water Contamination
The burden of water contamination is heavy. CDC estimates that the USA loses over $ 3.3 billion in the fight against water-borne diseases annually. Unfortunately, the problem deepens to claim over 6630 people every year. Though only a small fraction relates to well water, these dreaded statistics spare no one.
Nitrates, arsenic and radon are among the most significant contributors to well water contamination. In the USA, they account for over 30% of such cases. Iron bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms are also key players here.
Now, you are probably wondering how all these things make it to well water. Well, that is what we are going to talk about next.
How Does Well Water Become Contaminated?
Here are some of the common ways in which well water is contaminated;
Chlorides, arsenic, nitrates, iron and radionuclides exist in rocks and soil. They dissolve in water as it percolates through rocks, resulting in contamination.
Decaying organic matter is also another natural contaminant. It does so by introducing bacteria in well water. This has been known to cause adverse effects on water’s taste, odor and the body at large.
Around 25% of Americans dispose of wastes in underground septic tanks. In the event that there is a poorly designed septic tank, such wastes often leak out. The effluents usually contain bacteria and viruses. Therefore when they come into contact with groundwater, they tend to contaminate it.
Leakages from Petroleum and Chemical Storage Tanks
The USA has over 4 million oil and chemical tanks. Improper design and use of sloppy materials often cause the tanks to leak. This then poses an environmental and health hazard if the contents mix with underground water.
Treating Iron Bacteria In Well Water
Iron bacteria are tiny living organisms that thrive on ferrous compounds. They are characterized by a lousy odor, visibility of slime and corrosion of pipes. Getting rid of iron bacteria in the water is not a walk in the park, but it can be done. How, you ask? Below are a few techniques you can use.
How Do You Get Rid of Iron Bacteria In Well Water?
Begin by scrubbing pipes with a brush to detach iron bacteria sticking on the surface. You can also use disinfectants to quicken the job.
“Chemical treatment” is a battery of methods experts use to get rid of iron bacteria. It involves intermittently injecting chemical compounds into well water. Calcium hypochlorite or chlorine pellets are some of the most common chemicals used in this process.
Shock chlorination involves adding a high concentration of chlorine solution to well water in order to combat bacteria and viruses. Doing so is also known to kill other unwanted microbes like algae and molds living on the well’s casing.
Experts suggest adding around 200 ppm of chlorine to the well. Any concentration above that will lower the method’s effectiveness.
What to do for Methane Contamination of Well Water
Dissolved methane in well water can quickly escape and spread once you open your faucets. Since methane is highly flammable, its presence in your house causes a fire hazard. Furthermore, in high concentrations, the gas is said to cause asphyxiation. This is simply the deprivation of oxygen which can easily lead to death.
For these reasons, you must learn how to deal with methane contamination. Here is how to do so;
Aeration involves using a galvanized pressurized tank and directing a delivery pipe from it. Once this is done, one is supposed to open the valve. Doing so causes air to flow into water and escape out with methane.
A shroud is a pipe surrounding a submersible pump that is sealed on the bottom and opens up on the top. The pipe is perforated around the pump to allow water to sip in so that the pump can push the methane to the surface. After the process is complete, water with a low methane concentration is left inside the shroud.
Well water can indeed get contaminated. Natural sources, mines and chemicals are common causes of such. The good thing is that this can be fixed using a number of methods. Aeration and use of gas shrouds are great examples of these techniques.
It is a great idea to get well maintenance done every 1-3 years to determine if you water is contaminated or not and determine other issues as a preventive step..
As much as you can try and do it yourself, hiring professionals is very important as it makes the whole cleaning process effective and less stressful. If you would like to get experts to handle well water contamination issues for you, we are here.
Give us a call today!
We will make sure that by the time we are done, your water will be free of impurities.