Safe drinking water is one of the most basic human needs, and making sure your family has safe drinking water in the US usually involves either having access to municipal water systems or maintaining a private well. Private wells are often the number one choice when you don't live in town and can't afford to have the city water piped out to you. But a private well comes with its own set of challenges. You have to find a good place to sink it, make sure you drill far enough down to find a good water source, and then take good care of the well itself so it stays clean and safe. Here are three steps to making sure your existing private well continues to provide clean, safe water for your family.
1. Keep contaminants the recommended distance from the well site
When you were looking for a well site, the professionals you were working with probably helped you make sure that it was situated a minimum distance from all possible sources of contaminants. These sources of contaminants should always be kept at a distance from the well for its entire working life to prevent contamination. It's easy to forget this if you suddenly acquire an additional one that you didn't have before and, consequently, aren't used to thinking of it as a potential water contaminant. Here's a list of things that need to be kept away from your well site (recommended distances vary by type of contaminant):
- Fields fertilized with manure
- Septic leach fields
- Septic tanks
- Manure/fertilizer storage areas
2. Test well water yearly
Well water can become contaminated through a number of means. Even if you keep it away from the sources of contamination mentioned above, it's possible in some situations for contaminants such as rock salt or herbicides used on roads, bacteria from the surface, and other contaminants to enter in some situations. And if you experience a year where there's less water available (such as when your area is in drought), your use of the well may cause your aquifer to begin pulling water in from another underground source, which could be contaminated from above- or below-ground sources. So testing your well water yearly is essential to make sure you don't have any new contaminants in your well water this year.
3. Keep up with well maintenance
You should perform home maintenance on the well pump itself, which in a large part includes visually inspecting it to make sure it still looks okay. You should also have it inspected and maintained or repaired by a well expert on a regular basis. This is relevant to water safety because failed seals and other malfunctions can sometimes allow contaminants such as bacteria to enter your well.
Talk with a company like Advanced Drilling for more well installation and care information.