Groundwater quality can impact human health, society, and the economy. Groundwater is an economical water source and when it is contaminated, it is often hard and costly to clean. Those who drink water from a private well should have their well tested by a laboratory to know if it’s safe for them. Contaminated water can make anyone sick and some well water contaminants can cause long-term health issues.
Water suppliers, including small private systems, cooperatively owned systems, and bigger municipal systems are required to test their water regularly. They should send water samples to qualified laboratories. Meanwhile, private well owners can conduct their own well water testing to determine the safety of their water for consumption. It is important to keep in mind that the safety of one’s well water depends on factors such as surface and underground geology as well as the well depth and construction. Regular etudes hydrogeologiques must be carried out because well water quality can change over time because of seasons, weather, floods, drought, and other events.
Reasons Well Water Might Not be Safe
Wellwater may taste and look okay, but it may contain harmful substances that cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. These include chemicals and bacteria that could impact one’s health. These contaminants can enter the well from the surface and ground or natural sources or human activities.
Types of Tests that Well Water Should Go Through
Bacteriological testing and chemical testing should be performed to make sure the well water is safe for human consumption.
- Bacteriological testing. The test should be performed to determine presence of total coliforms and E. coli. Total coliforms include bacteria in surface water, soil, and animal intestinal tracts. On the other hand, E. coli may enter be in well water because fecal matter has entered the well. If E. coli is in the water, it should be drunk.
- Chemical testing. This type of water testing should be performed routinely. Chemicals that can be found in groundwater include nitrates, metals, fluoride. These chemicals can get into well water through human activities and natural sources.
How to Deal with Well Water Contamination
If tests show that well water is contaminated, long-term treatment must be taken into account to eliminate contaminants. But, if E. coli is found, the drinking water should be treated before it should be consumed, used for food preparation, or used for brushing the teeth. If the source E. coli can’t be corrected, it is important to look for a long-term treatment solution for the water.