Many households in the United States get their drinking water from a private well. That is a good thing especially 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 that they get is safe.
Private wells are not covered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States. They regulate to make sure 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 that you get from the private wells is safe.
The United States has one of the safest water supply 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 pesticide near the water source. They could also get the water contaminated.
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 haul health issues. These microorganisms can exist in surface and groundwater supplies.
Certain 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:
- Construction – How strong was it constructed? If ever it wasn't constructed well, there might be issues any time.
- Location – Where is it located? What issues have your neighbors stated?
- Maintenance – How old the well if for years? Has the water quality been checked regularly?
- Water Source – What is the nature of the aquifer from which your water is drawn?
- Human activities – What is going in your general vicinity that could affect your well?
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
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 risky levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into well water.
Heavy metals from adjacent mining or mishandled waste.
Malfunctioning sewers or awfully manufactured septic systems (the EPA prescribes septic tanks introduced no less than 50 feet far from wells).
Getting Private Wells Checked
|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|
Well Water Testing
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 normally 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 flood. Another way is through contaminated runoff from forests, fields, and feedlots. Routine testing of the private well must be done. Chemical disinfection is basic 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, serious 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
Under Sink Water Filters
The under sink water filters work best for many homes. The contaminants removed through reverse osmosis technique are now blocked by the under sink water filters. However, unlike the reverse osmosis systems, the under sink water filters does not produce any wastewater. There are two kinds of under sink water filters. These are the simple and conventional filters.
The simple under sink water filters are called such because of its 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 faucet that you are already using. Since the filter is connected to the line of the cold water, 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 types of a plumbing system. Now, here are some of the benefits of the under sink water filters:
- Eliminates bad 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
Countertop 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 they offer good results. Also, it is compact and will not take much space compared to other water filter system. 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 actually 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 which are KDF filtration, alkalization, silver filter, and remineralization.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Stain-free surface: With the use of 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 water softener. These are the following:
- Salt-based water softener
- Salt-free water softener
- Dual tank water softener
- Magnetic water descaler
- 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.
- 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.
- The use of chlorine drops or iodine tablets can effectively kill the bacteria in the well water. However, it can cause an undesirable taste.
- 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.
Water chlorination is one of the many methods of disinfecting water. It deactivates the microorganisms by destroying its cell membrane. As soon as the cell membrane is weakened, the chlorine can enter the cell. Thereafter, it can disrupt the respiration plus DNA activity.
Chlorination can be done at any moment. Each point of chlorine can control a different area of concern. As such, 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 most common contaminants from water better than any other gravity filters.
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 not only get rid of other water quality issues like nitrate contamination.
If you like to get rid of a one-time bacterial contamination case, then chlorination is an effective method to try. But if you have a long-term and on-going problem, disinfecting it will only fix the issue temporarily. The problems 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. There are also wells that are hard to disinfect. These are the wells which are impacted by the flood, artesian wells, and wells that are situated near the pit. In these instances, it is best to hire a licensed professional plumber or driller to do the work.
With full chlorination method, it can kill the bacteria which may be present in well water and aquifer. This is the common 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 full 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 to pass or for the ground close to your well to dry before you begin.
If you wish to disinfect your well due to the presence of bacteria, then you can boil your tap water. You can also use bottled water for now during the entire disinfection process.
If your well is near the wells of your neighbor, 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 to it 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 has the ability to 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.
It is essential that you 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 which 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 litters or 4 gallons of water. Now, you have to pour the mixture in 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 with the use of a garden hose which is 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 period 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 to circulate the 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. With excess chlorine, this can affect the operation of the septic field and tank.
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 who are concerned about lead, iron, mercury, and arsenic can find assurance that the Crown Berkey can remove it.
This product includes two Black Berkey filter, 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 normal 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.
Just like other products of the Berkey Water, this can remove viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and pharmaceuticals of up to 99.9%. It includes 4 Black Berkey water filter. 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.