How To Make Well Water Drinkable And Keep It Safe To Drink

How to Make Well Water Drinkable
Many households in the United States get their drinking water from a private well. That is a good thing, significantly since people can save money out of it. They no longer have to pay for water to drink, as long as the water from the well they get is safe.

Private wells are not covered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States. They regulate to ensure that the water coming from the systems delivered to our home is safe to drink. So this means there is no guarantee that the water you get from the private wells is safe.

The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. But, the sources of drinking water can still get affected and contaminated by a lot of things. Some of them are natural minerals like arsenic or other kinds of chemicals. These minerals are responsible for the malfunction in the wastewater treatment system. It also includes the use of pesticides near the water source. They could also get the water contaminated.

Related Questions About Well Water

Is Well Water Safe to Drink if you Boil it?

Yes, boiling is the surest way to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the well water.
To boil the water so it will be safe, heat it to a full swirling boil. Keep the swirling boil going for at least one minute before you use the water. Store the boiled water in a clean, covered container in the fridge. Throw out the water after 72 hours (three days). You can use this boiled water for:
  • Drinking
  • Adding to frozen orange juice and frozen lemonade
  • Making drinks 
  • Making ice
  • Cooking
  • Essential mouth care, like brushing your teeth
You can boil the well water for five minutes. With this, all the bacteria inside it will be removed. However, boiling will not be able to remove the solids and other materials inside the well water. Regularly test your well water to ensure you  have 100% safe water for your daily household essentials. 

Is Well Water Safe to Shower in?

Yes, it is completely safe to bathe or shower with well water.

Is Well Water Healthier than Tap Water?

Indeed, it is. Purified well water likewise tastes better since it doesn't contain any additional chemical compounds like fluoride and chlorine (in contrast to public water). While pure water doesn't have a flavor, well water might contain trace minerals that are significant for your body and for flavor. Thus, you get all the health advantages of clean water with none of the man-made chemical added substances. Best of all, you will not need to depend on anybody to carry it to you or have it in stock during a crisis.

Does a deeper well mean better water?

With regards to water quality and well depth, in general, there's one rule of thumb: the deeper the well, the better the water quality. As you go further down, there's a higher possibility that the water you experience will be full of minerals.

Does heavy rain affect well water?

If you think that surface water might be spilling into your well, it's an ideal opportunity to check your wellhead. It is unlikely heavy rain will impact all around sturdy and functional well water.

Is My Well Water Safe to Drink?


If your drinking water comes from a private well, you need to get it tested. You may conduct it through laboratory testing or an authorized research facility. In this way, you may know whether drinking water is safe for you and your family.
Your bare eyes cannot see the harmful bacteria, parasites, and infections. This is why water looks and tastes may not be safe to drink.

Regardless of the possibility that you are not becoming ill, your well water may not be unsafe. A few contaminants found in well water can cause long-term health issues. These microorganisms can exist in surface and groundwater supplies. 
Specific chemical contaminants found in a water source can cause chronic health issues. That takes a very long time to grow. Constant water testing will determine hazardous water. It will guarantee that the treatment system is treating the water to a satisfying level.

If your neighbors’ well has been tested and observed to be safe, this does not mean yours is safe. The security of your well water relies on many factors. They include surface and underground geology, depth, development of the well, and more. The Well water quality can change regularly upon revival/refilling because of the dry season. You have to test your well water and keep all testing outcomes for future reference.
Various aspects should be addressed to keep up a healthy private well, that is, a well which gives 'safe' water:
  1. Construction – How strong was it constructed? If ever it wasn't built well, there might be issues at any time.
  2. Location – Where is it located? What issues have your neighbors stated? 
  3. Maintenance – How old the well if for years? Has the water quality been checked regularly?
  4. Water Source – What is the nature of the aquifer from which your water is drawn?
  5. Human activities – What is going in your general vicinity that could affect your well?
The more deep-seated your well (800+ feet), the cleaner the water. The CDC suggests having your well water tried for contaminants. They include Coliform bacteria, nitrates, and others for even once every year.

Also, as indicated by freedrinkingwater.com. It is vital to have your well water tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and inorganic mixes before utilizing it out of the blue.

Natural and Unnatural Contaminant and Your Well

As indicated by the CDC, more than 15 million Americans get their water from private wells. Also, most well water is protected to drink and cook with.
In any case, well water purity can be influenced by the following depending on your area:
  • Naturally-occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, copper, calcium, and radon).
  • Pesticides, herbicides, and other cultivating works on. They are including runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
  • Industrial contamination and fuel drilling can present dangerous levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into well water.
  • Heavy metals from adjacent mining or mishandled waste.
  • Malfunctioning sewers or manufactured septic systems (the EPA prescribes septic tanks introduced no less than 50 feet far from wells).

    Getting Private Wells Checked

    The owners of the private wells are responsible for making sure the water from the well is not contaminated with anything safe for consumption.
    This is why a recommendation that private wells need to be checked every year. They must be checked for the presence of different kinds of problems. They must monitor the cleanliness of the water. It includes the presence of coliform, nitrates, bacteria, and other contaminants. They must look for any mechanical problem.
    Around 15% of Americans depend on well water for drinking. This is according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Polluted well water can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The harmful contaminants in the water could lead to serious health issues. They include cancer, neurological problems, reproductive problems, and gastrointestinal illness, says Dr. Gochfeld.
    Contaminants known as nitrates are particularly unsafe for newborn children. They can disorganize oxygen flow in the blood of infants, as per the EPA. Standard testing for contaminants and different safety measures will help guarantee that well water is entirely safe to drink.
    If you are an owner of a private well, you can ask your local health department or professionals. They help when it comes to water well systems. They allow you to make sure that your well can still deliver water that is of good quality.
    One of the steps to preserve well water from contamination is to keep a distance from the well. EPA proposes the accompanying least division distances to the wellhead:
     
    Septic Tanks 50 feet
    Livestock Yards, Silos Septic and Leach Fields 50 feet
    Petroleum Tanks, Liquid-tight Manure Storage, Pesticide and Fertilizer Storage, and Handling 100 feet
    Manure Stacks 250 feet
    A few points of supply of contamination are anything but obvious to distinguish.
    You can see it by standing at the well-head and looking, listening, and smelling what is adjacent. Be that as it may, many difficult issues can be discovered just by testing your water. One must know the probable dangers in a location. This will enable well owners to choose the sort of tests required.

    Reasons to Get Private Wells Checked

    It is essential to know the kinds of contaminants that may be present near your wells. The chart below lists the standard conditions or nearby activities that well owners may get their private well checked for.  Not every kind poses an immediate health threat to the quality of your wells. Some may just affect the taste, immediate and appearance of the water.

    Conditions or Nearby Activities: Test for:

    Recurring gastrointestinal illness

    Coliform bacteria

    Household plumbing or service lines that contain lead

    pH, lead, copper

    Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich

    Radon

    Corrosion of pipes, plumbing

    Corrosion, pH, lead

    Nearby areas of intensive agriculture

    Nitrate, nitrite, pesticides, coliform bacteria

    Coal or other mining operations nearby

    Metals, pH, corrosion

    Gas drilling operations nearby

    Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium

    Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby

    Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals

    The odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and a near gas station or buried fuel tanks

    Volatile organic compounds

    Objectionable taste or smell

    Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals

    Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry

    Iron, copper, manganese

    Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby

    Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium

    Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather

    Hardness

    Rapid wear of water treatment equipment

    pH, corrosion

    Water softener needed to treat hardness

    Manganese, iron

    Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored

    Color, detergents

    Well Water Testing

    When testing for the quality of well water, there are several indicators. There's a list of contaminants that the tester looks for. The Water Quality Indicators or the WQI test will test and measure germs and other pollutants in the water.
    The presence of these water quality indicators does not always mean that your well water will cause sickness. But, authorities test for them because it is easier to examine their presence. Also, it is because it can also show the presence of other disease-causing bacteria and sewage. They may come from animal or human feces.
    So when should you have your well tested for the presence of contaminants or other problems? You have to check your well to ensure that it does not have any mechanical problems every spring. You need to have it tested every once a year.
    Tests, like pH level, total dissolved solids, nitrates, and for total coliform bacteria.

    Well Water Must be Tested at Least Once a Year

    The nature of well water is continually changing, and the most ideal approach to secure your family is to have your water tested. While it isn't required by the public authority, it's a fundamental move to keep your family protected. The EPA suggests that you test your well once a year for E. coli and coliform bacteria at total minimum. You ought to likewise test your water for radon and arsenic, minerals like iron, manganese, nitrate levels, and any volatile organic compounds to guarantee your home's water is protected. 

    If you do see a change of water quality such as the appearance, smell, taste, and the like, it's a smart thought to have your well tested, regardless of whether it hasn't been a year since the last test. 

    There are at-home, out-of-the-box tests you can buy and perform yourself. When you opt for this way, read what precisely the kit is testing for – not all tests are made equal.

    If you suspect your well may have other contaminants, then you have to make sure and get a test for that. But you have to make sure you have identified a potential problem since the testing will cost you money. Before getting your well tested, you can consult a local expert. The first thing that you should concern about is the local water contaminants.

    Other Considerations for Well Water Testing

    If there are small children, elderly adults living in your house, or even someone in your home who is pregnant or nursing, you may need to consider testing your well water. These segments of the population will be more sensitive and vulnerable to contaminants than the rest.

    Here are other considerations that you may test your well water immediately:

    • Water quality disturbance - when water changes in color, odor, and taste
    • Well water part repair or replacement - a reaction to your well water system likely creates changes in the water quality
    • Surrounding conditions altered - such changes like land disturbances, flooding, new construction, or industrial activity could affect your well water source
    • Unknown groundwater problems - if an occurrence happens, you may need to undertake your well water testing 

    Lastly, groundwater with a direct influence from surface water could also influence the contaminants found in that water. This is because groundwater is easily influenced by the activities on the surface.

    Why Disinfect?


    Groundwater isn't 100% pure water. It gathered in the modest pore spaces inside sediments and the cracks inside the bedrock. Groundwater contains some broken-down minerals. There are many usually appearing microorganisms in groundwater.

    As indicated by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), most waterborne microorganisms are safe. Many are useful. A few, be that as it may, are pathogenic. Microbes, for instance, are from the intestinal tracts of individuals and warm-blooded creatures. For example, E. coli can cause ailment and death.

    These pathogens may enter groundwater through septic tank floods. Another way is through contaminated runoff from forests, fields, and feedlots. Routine testing of the private well must be done. Chemical disinfection is essential to keeping a safe, private water supply. Also, one must maintain a strategic distance from the damage of pathogenic organisms. Disease with E. coli, for instance, can bring stomach distress, diarrhea, severe sickness, and even death.

    Did you know?

      • Groundwater serves as the gathering of rainwater, melted snow, and ice. They filter through soil, sediments, and bedrock to settle beneath the Earth's surface.
      • A watershed draws water to a sewerage area. It incorporates the groundwater in the drainage area.
      • Groundwater composes around 98% of the accessible freshwater on Earth.
      • Consistently, the U.S. utilizes around 83.3 billion gallons of groundwater.

      Treatment of Well Water

      If ever you find out that your well water becomes contaminated, then don’t worry that much. There are a lot of treatment options for that. You have to bear in mind that there is no single treatment option that will address all kinds of problems.
      Water treatment is not only because of contaminants. Some people choose to treat their well water for it to have a better taste. Some like to take extra precautions for the health of the people drinking from the well.
       

      A Filtration System

      A water filter is a device that you can use to remove many kinds of contaminants and impurities from your drinking water. A water filtration system could either use a chemical, a biological process, or a physical barrier to filter your drinking waterThis is to make sure that it is safe to drink.

      If you choose this to treat your well water, you desire many kinds of water filtration systems. Find one that will suit you and your family’s needs.
      Some examples of a water filtration system are the under sink filtration system, a counter-top water filter, a faucet-attached water filter, and many more.

      Under Sink Water Filters

      The under sink water filters work best for many homes. The contaminants removed through the reverse osmosis technique are now blocked by the under sink water filters. However, unlike the reverse osmosis systems, the under-sink water filters do not produce any wastewater. There are two kinds of under sink water filters. These are simple and conventional filters.
      The simple under sink water filters are called such because of their easy installation and not because of the system. When you install it, all of the cold water supply will focus through the filter. This system does not need to have a new faucet to bring the water. Instead, it delivers the water on the tap that you are already using. Since the filter is connected to the cold water line, it cannot filter the hot water. The use of this system features ease of use. Instead of installing two different cold water faucets, you can have a simplified system.
      Meanwhile, the conventional under sink water filter needs to divert the cold water via a connection. This can be through a plastic tube. After filtering the water, it will be sent to another faucet which is mounted on the sink. Only the water that reaches the faucet will be filtered. The hot and cold water that reaches the faucet is unfiltered. The use of the conventional under sink water filter last longer since it only filters part of the water. Also, it can be easily installed on any type of plumbing system. Now, here are some of the benefits of the under sink water filters:
      • Eliminates foul odor and taste
      • Removes sediment
      • Removes chlorine and heavy metals
      • There are less fluoride in the water
      • There are no arsenic
      • Reduces the nitrite and nitrate
      • Less limescale
      • Removes the bacteria and other microorganisms

      Counter-top Water Filter

      There are a lot of countertop water filters in the market today. This is a type of water filter which is cheap and offers good results. Also, it is compact and will not take much space compared to other water filter systems. It is easy to install and efficient to use.
      Furthermore, it requires low maintenance and stress-free priming. Though the countertop filter may seem simple, it employs a complex process. First, it features mechanical filtration. The water is being pushed through a filter with small pores.
      Then, it will undergo a water softening process. Through ion exchange resins, it can be able to remove the magnesium and calcium in the water. Finally, the system will remove organic contaminants through activated carbon filtration. The final output is water free from herbicides, pesticides, and disinfectants. Meanwhile, this type of system can incorporate optional processes. Examples of these are KDF filtration, alkalization, silver filter, and remineralization.

      Water Softener

      The use of water softener brings various benefits apart from convenience. It affects the family budget and causes good results in family health care. Here are some more benefits of using water softeners:
      1. Makes the hair and skin softer: Water softener makes the skin and hair soft, just like what it does with the clothes. Since it protects the skin gently, it can also affect the fabric you wear. As such, there will be an increase in general cleanness.
      2. Prolong the lifespan of appliances: Appliances will be protected since chemical and residue buildup will be prevented. Also, it can use lesser energy as it operates.
      3. Stain-free surface: With the use of a water softener, there will be stain-free surfaces. Also, the functionality of the soap will not be compromised. It will make the detergents effective, and it will reduce the amount needed to clean a particular area inside the house.
      Meanwhile, there are various kinds of the water softener. These are the following:
        1. Salt-based water softener
        2. Salt-free water softener
        3. Dual tank water softener
        4. Magnetic water descaler
        Water Softeners

         
        A water softener is also a sort of a device used to reduce the hardness or the amount of the minerals of the water. Usually, sodium or potassium ions replace the calcium and the magnesium ion in the water. Those are perceived to create the hardness of the water.
         

        A Distillation System

         
        Distillation is a process where water with impurity undergoes boiling. The steam is then collected and then condensed in a separate container. This process will remove and then leave a lot of solid contaminants behind. There are various ways to distilling the well water. Here are some of them:
        1. You can make a DIY design by yourself. This can be achieved through the use of small rocks, sand, charcoal, and cloth. Use a cone-shaped object and put some charcoal on it. Then, create a filter by filling the cone alternately with sand and small rocks.
        2. You can boil the well water for 5 minutes. With this, all the bacteria inside it will be eliminated. However, boiling will not be able to remove the solids and other materials inside the well water.
        3. The use of chlorine drops or iodine tablets can effectively kill the bacteria in the well water. However, it can cause an undesirable taste.
        4. There are filters available which you can use during outdoor adventures. It usually uses a ceramic or carbon-based system to purify or clean the water.

        Disinfection

         Disinfection could either be a physical or a chemical process. This is where the pathogenic microorganisms become killed or deactivated. This is the process used by a lot of cities to clean their water supplies.
        The most common chemical disinfectants are ozone, chlorine dioxide, and of course, chlorine. Physical disinfectants have become utilized these days. They are heat, electronic radiation, and ultraviolet light.
         

        Water Chlorination

        Water chlorination is one of the many methods of disinfecting water. It deactivates the microorganisms by destroying their cell membrane. As soon as the cell membrane is weakened, chlorine can enter the cell. After that, it can disrupt respiration plus DNA activity.

        Chlorination can be done at any moment. Each point of chlorine can control a different area of concern. It can offer a complete treatment as soon as the water enters the facility and leaves.

        Moreover, chlorine has many purposes apart from disinfection. It can provide a residual that can avoid the growth of pathogens in the tanks. Berkey Water Filters can be your best option for treating well water. It can remove the most common contaminants from water better than any other gravity filter.

        Chlorination is one process of disinfecting or treating the plumbing and well system with the use of chlorine. This can eliminate or kill different kinds of bacteria. It can kill the coliform bacteria, which indicates the presence of nuisance microorganisms in the water. When you disinfect a well, it will get rid of other water quality issues like nitrate contamination.

        If you like to eliminate a one-time bacterial contamination case, then chlorination is an effective method to try. But if you have a long-term and ongoing problem, disinfecting it will only fix the issue temporarily. The issues that you have can be related to well construction, location, or maintenance. You have to identify the cause of this problem before you proceed.

        Sometimes, the source of contamination is not clear. Some wells are hard to disinfect. These are the wells impacted by the flood, artesian wells, and wells situated near the pit. It is best to hire a licensed professional plumber or driller to do the work in these instances.

        Full Chlorination

        The full chlorination method can kill the bacteria that may be present in well water and aquifer. This is the standard method for the well drillers. They use this for persistent contamination of bacteria. Moreover, this method is used for waters that are affected by the flood.

        Indeed, the complete chlorination technique is often done by professionals. However, you can also do it by yourself. Just gather the necessary equipment and follow the steps included in this article.

        Determine When to Disinfect your Water Well

        Consider disinfecting the well if the following signs occur:

        • If the tests show that there are coliform bacteria
        • If the flood or surface water gets inside the well
        • If the well is newly drilled or connected to the plumbing system
        • If there are new changes or repairs made to the existing well
        • If the well pump is newly repaired or replaced
        • You need to disinfect it as part of the yearly maintenance

        If you are disinfecting your well due to floods or if you think that the surface water has entered, wait for it until it recedes. Have some time to let the overland flooding pass or for the ground close to your well to dry before you begin.

        Safety Measures

        If you wish to disinfect your well due to bacteria's presence, you can boil your tap water. You can also use bottled water for now during the entire disinfection process.

        If your well is near your neighbor's wells, then the process can affect their well too. Make sure that you let your neighbors know that you are disinfecting your water well. With this, they can monitor for the smell of chlorine. Moreover, they can conduct the flushing of their system.

        You have to take note that you must handle chlorine bleach safely and carefully. You must use protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear. Keep your pets and kids away from the area of the well during the entire process. Make sure that you do not leave the bleach containers lying inside your house.

        Keep the containers secured so you can avoid inhaling the odor. If you are using bleach in crawl spaces, well pits, or well houses, see that you follow the health rules whenever you are working in tight spaces.

        Preparations in Disinfecting a Well

        To disinfect a well, you can use any household bleach. The chlorine present in the bleach can destroy the bacteria. You can check the label to see if the bleach contains any additives.

        The method of disinfection is based on a chlorine concentration of 5%. This is the common concentration for bleach inside the household. If there are minor concentrations of chlorine, it will affect the entire disinfection process.

        You must take note of the following before you begin the entire disinfection proceedings:

        First, you must notify everyone in your home that you are going to disinfect the well water. Then, store enough water for all your members that can last up to 24 hours. For drinking water, you can use bottled water during the process. You can also fill the water containers with well water. However, you have to take note that you must boil the water before drinking. Meanwhile, you can use the bathtub to store water for household chores.

        Since bleach can lose its strength after some time, you must make sure to buy unscented and regular chlorine bleach. You must also bypass or disconnect water treatment or filters. This includes reverse osmosis, water softeners, and carbon filters. Finally, you must shut off the power of your water heater.

        Steps on How to do a Full Chlorination

        To fully chlorinate the well water, you have to pump 1,500 to 2,500 liters of water from the well to a clean water tank. Make sure that you don’t use containers that have previously help pesticides or fuel. This can contaminate your water.

        Next, put 10 liters or 2 ½ gallons of bleach in your tank. Make sure that you remove the cap from the casing of the well. Then, you have to mix another 10 liters or 2 ½ gallons of bleach once again in 15 liters or 4 gallons of water. Now, you have to pour the mixture into the well. You can use a funnel to control the direction and the flow of the bleach. See to it that you don’t let the bleach run on the wire connections.

        After you pour the bleach, rinse the well water casing for a few minutes using a garden hose connected to the water supply that is disinfected. With this, it can circulate the water inside the well. When you are done, turn off the hose.

        Give an hour for the well to rest. This time will allow the chlorine to mix well with the water.

        Then, you have to pour gradually the 1,500 to 2,500 liters of water plus the bleach mixture from the tank once again into the well. Control the flow so the bleach and water will not overflow the casing on the ground.

        Then, tighten and replace the cap once again. Now, you have to open the faucets inside your house. Flush the toilets until you can smell the chlorine. This will enable you to circulate chlorine throughout your water system. Now, you can turn off the faucets.

        Turn off all the water supply in your toilets. You can use the stored water if you wish to flush the toilets.

        Make sure that you let the bleach sit in the system for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the bleach remains in your water system, the more time the chlorine can have to eliminate the bacteria on it.

        Finally, you have to keep the level of chlorinated water that proceeds into your sewage system at a minimum during the disinfection process. Excess chlorine can affect the operation of the septic field and tank.

        Our Recommendation

        Filters and other private purification systems can help expel contaminants in well water. Those that use carbon channels expel lead and some heavy metals. Others, for example, reverse osmosis systems, strip out contaminants taken via carbon channels.
         
        The well water treatment can use the Berkey Water Filter for the most effective and cost-effective purification system. You can use it in the kitchen, for outdoor activities, and even for traveling as well.
         
        The Berkey Water Filtration Systems have a specific filtration system equipped with cleaning even the dirtiest water. It extracts part of the bacteria, chemicals, toxins, and so on. Yet, it retains the minerals.
        The system utilizes a gravity filtration strategy.
        This is a fundamental idea and makes it viable at expelling contaminants. It doesn't need power. The system is also convenient. So you can bring it with you and can use it whenever there are unfortunate events.

        The Well owners must embrace a multi-obstruction way of protecting their drinking water. Protection must incorporate standard monitoring for waterborne pathogens and raise disinfection when required. It's a duty to keep from sickness and well-being of families depending on private well water.

        Crown Berkey 6 Gallon Water Filter

        The Crown Berkey Water Filter can remove various chemicals in the well water. It can eliminate up to 99.9% of fluoride, pathogenic bacteria, and viruses. Those concerned about lead, iron, mercury, and arsenic can find assurance that the Crown Berkey can remove them.
        This product includes two Black Berkey filters. However, you can upgrade it up to 4, 6, or 8. Amazingly, it can even accommodate up to 6 to 12 people every day with regular use. Indeed, the Crown Berkey 6 Gallon Water Filter is your best protection against water contaminants. 

        Berkey Light Water Filter 2.75 Gallons

        For a lighter version of the stainless steel product, you can have the Berkey Light Water Filter. With this, you don’t have to worry about carrying the heavy water filter, especially when transferring homes.

        Like other Berkey Water products, this can remove viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and pharmaceuticals of up to 99.9%. It includes 4 Black Berkey water filters. It has a flow rate of 4 gallons per hour under regular use.
        All Berkey's powerful systems purify both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds, and water supplies in foreign countries.

        How to  Additionally Protect Your Well Water from Pollution

        Unnatural Sources

        To protect your well water, it’s essential to know how to identify potential sources of contamination. One way is managing the activities near the water source. For domestic use wells, this includes ensuring to keep away from sinkholes and the septic systems, a great source of hazardous chemicals.

        Here are steps you may need to take note of to protect your well water:

        1. Slope the area around the well. This is to drain the surface runoff away from the well. 
        2. Install a well cap or sanitary seal. This is to prevent unauthorized use of, or entry into, the well.
        3. Keep accurate records of your well maintenance. This includes disinfection or sediment removal, that may require the use of chemicals in the well.
        4. Hire a certified well driller. For any new well construction, modification, or abandonment and closure, a professional knows the best precaution to prevent contamination in your well.
        5. Avoid mixing hazardous chemicals near the well. This includes using pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, degreasers, fuels, and other pollutants.
        6. Do not dispose of wastes in dry wells or abandoned wells. Rainwater runoff may discharge to your well.
        7. Do not cut off the well casing below the land surface. It makes an efficient well water transport; it supports a good and clean water source to your household.
        8. Pump and inspect septic systems. This can be scheduled on a monthly or quarterly basis. However, it can be done as often as recommended by your local health department.
        9. Never dispose of harsh chemicals, solvents, petroleum products, or pesticides in a septic system or dry well. Just like wastes, rainwater runoff may discharge residue into your well water.
        10. Periodically inspect exposed parts of the well for problems such as:
          1. Cracked, corroded, or damaged well casing
          2. Broken or missing well cap
          3. Settling and cracking of surface seals
        11. Regularly check the integrity of any above-ground and underground storage tanks that hold home heating oil, diesel, or gasoline on your property. When forgotten, it can even cause fire at once.
        12. Check with your local health department or environmental agency to ensure activities and industry on or near your property are set at a safe distance from your well. This should be noted to avoid any inconvenience for both you and the operating industry.

        Natural Sources

        Flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can have an impact on the overall safety of your well water. Contaminants incurred through such natural occurrences can also adversely affect your well water. If you suspect your well is contaminated after heavy flooding or another natural disaster, contact right away your local state health department or environmental agency for advice. They may need to inspect and test your well. If possible, a contractor with experience in servicing drinking water wells is heavily impacted by natural disasters. 

        Water well flood response steps:

        • Stay away from the well pump while flooded to avoid electric shock. The contractor wearing the proper personal protective equipment can only be the one to prevent this electric shock.
        • Do not drink or wash from the flooded well to avoid becoming sick. Water is still unsafe until inspected and treated by a contractor or expert.
        • Get assistance from a well or pump contractor to clean and disinfect your well before turning on the pump. Because of the natural disaster, it will be likely that water is highly contaminated and thus needs immediate treatment.
        • After the pump is turned back on, pump the well until the water runs clear to rid the well of floodwater. 
        • If the water does not run clear, get advice from the county or state health department or extension service. They know exactly the following steps, such as contacting the EPA.
        EPA provides more specific steps for well owners to follow in its short guide, "What to do After the Flood."

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