When you're on city water, you can rest secure in the fact that the water is coming to you from a water treatment plant — where it's tested and treated to make sure it's safe to consume. With a private well, that's not the case. The difference here is that you're responsible for your own water quality with a well. Therefore, you'll want to plan on checking up on it frequently to make sure it hasn't become compromised.
However, if you're still new to the benefits and responsibilities that a private well brings, then you may be unsure what practical steps you should take to monitor your water quality. Here are three ways to stay informed and assure yourself of your well's continued potability.
1. Have Your Well Tested Regularly
Whether you do this yearly at the time of your well inspection or you do it more frequently, some experts recommend having it done twice yearly. Lab testing is an essential ingredient in keeping yourself informed. Be sure to use a certified lab because the EPA requires certification for water testing. Also, make sure to get the most thorough testing you can the first time you send it in.
In subsequent years, you may only need to run the basic tests for substances that your well is most at risk for. For example, these could include, arsenic if you live in an area that tends to have a lot of arsenic in the soil or pesticides if you live in an agricultural area.
2. Use Water Quality Meters
Conductivity meters, PH meters, and TDS (total dissolved solids) meters come in small and relatively affordable models. A water quality meter doesn't tell you nearly as much about your well as lab testing, so remember that it's definitely not a substitute. However, it can still be a useful tool — alerting you when something about your water quality changes.
What these meters can't do is tell you when your water has actually been contaminated by something dangerous. However, using a TDS meter regularly can establish a baseline for how many parts per million of total dissolved solids your water generally has, which giving you a good picture of what normal water looks like for your well.
If the number changes significantly, then you may decide it's time to send some water off to the lab for testing. It could just be an increase in harmless dissolved minerals, or it could mean that your supply is being infiltrated by surface water due to some problem with your well — which is a potential health risk.
3. Have Professional Well Maintenance
Professional maintenance is both a preventive measure and a way to keep yourself informed. Because an annual inspection generally comes with some water testing, it may count as one of your well testing events for the year. This is convenient because you can avoid paying for tests separately. The inspector will also examine the well components for any problems.
For example, they will check to make sure that there are no leaks allowing contaminants into the well. Additionally, they will check the pump, supply lines, and other vital parts of the system for premature wear and damage. If they do show excessive wear, now is the perfect time to replace them before they cause bigger problems down the road.
The well maintenance contractor should also leave you a report of their findings so that you can refer back to it in the future — whether you need to troubleshoot well problems or simply show prospective buyers that your well is in good shape.
These steps will help you stay on top of monitoring your well water's quality and safety. Whether you're looking for well inspections, treatment, or drilling, Moss Well Drilling, Inc. is here for you. So get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help.