Is My Well Water Safe to Use?
Nearly 14 million Americans rely on private wells for household and drinking water, and some are cleaner than others. While it’s common for well water to have quality issues that could potentially affect your home and health, the good news is that you can do something about the quality of your water with the right filtration system.
Common Well Water Challenges
A number of factors affect the quality of your well water, including:
- The age of your system
- Agricultural and industrial runoff
- Condition of your plumbing
- Historic use of chemicals and additives to the groundwater supply
Here are some issues that may arise with your well system and well water.
Sediment is the presence of large particles suspended in your well water. This could include rust from corroded pipes, minerals, sand, silt, and other organic matter that water pumps extricate from the bottom of your well.
Sediment is the most likely cause of hazy, cloudy water coming into your home. Excess sediment that lays in plumbing may cause clogs to form, compromising your whole plumbing system if not properly cleaned.
Iron and Bacteria
Iron is a mineral that is naturally present in soil deposits. It can cause orange stains to form in sinks and tubs as well as leave a dingy film on clothing that you wash.
High levels of iron present in well water attract iron bacteria, a microorganism that thrives on iron. You’ll know that iron bacteria is present in your home with signals such as a metallic taste to your water and slimy orange or brown film in the toilet tank.
Manganese is another mineral commonly found with iron in wells and septic systems. It also leaves unsightly orange and brown stains in your appliances as well as lends a distinctive metallic taste to your water.
Tannins are a by-product of plant decomposition. They are carried into wells as water seeps through decaying vegetation in your topsoil. While not harmful, they can turn your water yellow and leave stains on bathroom fixtures.
Installing carbon filters and chlorine injection systems will help to remove tannins and debris, leaving your water quality cleaner and better-tasting.
Bacterial microorganisms are some of the most harmful contaminants found in your water. Shallow or poorly designed wells are easily infiltrated by harmful microbes from agricultural runoff. E. coli is often found in wells and septic tanks where animal waste makes its way into your system.
A reverse osmosis system is needed to remove harmful bacteria and provide you and your family with water that is safe to consume, cook with, and use in your home.
Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
If your water supply smells like rotten eggs, hydrogen sulfide may be your culprit. It encourages the growth of sulfate-reducing microorganisms that are corrosive to your metal plumbing.
Using an oxidizing filter such as a chlorine injection system does wonders for neutralizing odors and providing you with a fresher, cleaner sample with which to work in your home.
Do I Need a Filtration System for My Home?
If you’ve been plagued with unsightly smells and tastes for a while, then perhaps a filtration system is right for you. It’s understandable that you may be skeptical about investing in a filter that isn’t necessary, so here’s how you know that you need one.
The quality of your groundwater is difficult to judge as it may change from day to day. A professional water test is the best way to tell what is really going on in your well and septic system.
If you’ve lived on your property for a number of years, you likely have a history with an intimate knowledge of your well and septic system. Keeping impeccable records of service and repairs and past water quality tests will help you determine the best course of action for a filtration system. Neighbors can also be a source of valuable information as adjacent properties tend to experience some of the same water quality issues that you can use as more data toward making an informed decision.
Local Environmental Data
Frequent heavy rains can cause runoff, which carries pollution and topsoil into shallow wells and surrounding soils. If you live in an area prone to flooding, your well may need shocking or restorative treatment to remove harmful microorganism contamination.
Another factor to consider is the type of agriculture and industry that takes place in your backyard. Agricultural runoff brings with it a host of undesirable chemicals and byproducts that can compromise both soils and groundwater. All of this farm runoff eventually makes its way into your groundwater supply, compromising your whole system. Manufacturing and mining also have significant consequences for the surrounding area; doing a bit of digging into your local economy will give you information about what to look for and what potential problems may exist with your system.
Making the Decision to Treat Your Water
Taking all of these factors into consideration, the evidence is clear. The best way to ensure the integrity of your well water is to regularly test samples and take proactive measures to install both localized and whole-house water purifiers to rid your water supply of harmful bacteria and contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
The process of reverse osmosis is the most commonly used method of water purification for homes. This system pushes pressurized water through a semi-permeable membrane that acts like a screen; harmful particles and contaminants are discarded while clean water is allowed to pass through.
Distillation separates contaminants from water by boiling it. As water is boiled, clean water evaporates into pure steam while contaminant particles are discarded and left behind. Steam is then collected and condensed into liquid water that is used for drinking and other purposes.
Ultraviolet purification involves the use of UV light to kill harmful microorganisms including viruses, parasites, and bacteria. While microorganisms remain in the water, they are rendered completely harmless. Many people choose to combine ultraviolet purification with additional filtration measures to clean up the debris left behind by ultraviolet light use.
Each type of water filtration has its own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right system for you is a critical decision. Talking to a trusted professional and outlining your desires and needs will help you make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your loved ones.
Choose Water Filtration for Better Health!
Protecting your health and that of your loved ones is as simple as providing a clean, fresh supply of water to your home. At Cooper’s Water, we provide the best solutions related to plumbing repair, installation, water softener repair and installation, whole house and local filtration system installation and repair, water conditioning, and well treatments. Proudly serving clients in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, we are committed to your satisfaction and vibrant health, courtesy of our premier products. Contact us today to see how we can improve your water quality and provide you with healthier options for better living.