Home Improvement

How Often Should You Perform Well Water Testing?

Water crises like the one in Flint, Michigan, make it apparent that access to water should be a human right, yet it isn’t. Options like well water give people more power over the source of their drinking water.

Well water systems are not rare. In fact, over 13 million Americans source their drinking water from a private well. These Americans are responsible for the safety of their own drinking water rather than relying on the city.

If you have a private well water system, well water testing should be a regular part of your maintenance. To find out more about this, check out the information below.

What Is Well Water Testing?

Well water testing should look for water quality indicators (WQIs) and contaminants. Some common WQIs include:

  • pH level
  • Fecal coliforms
  • Total coliforms

A result indicating a high count of fecal coliforms or total coliforms suggests that sewage, feces, or disease-causing germs have made their way into your water system. A pH level that is too low or too high, however, warns that your pipes could be damaged and cause dangerous heavy metals to leak into the water.

Additionally, well water testing should look out for harmful contaminants, including:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Lead
  • Nitrate
  • Pesticides

There are more contaminants to look for, like herbicides, mercury, chlorine, chloramines, arsenic, radium, and more. However, additional testing can run up the cost of the testing kit. Contact your local environmental department to see which contaminants are a problem in your region.

Testing Once a Year

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing well water at least once per year.

However, this is the bare minimum. A lot can happen in one year, and it’s likely that your water needs more testing than that. The tests can be expensive but not as expensive as treating the health issues that arise when drinking contaminated water.

When getting your well water tested, consult your local environmental department about what to test for. Ask them which laboratories are state-certified to test your water.

Special Testing Circumstances

Additional testing is recommended if there are changes affecting your household or well system. These changes may include:

  • Nearby construction
  • Natural disasters
  • Nearby chemical spills of leaks
  • The well water is leaving stains
  • Unexplained sickness in the household
  • A pregnancy in the household
  • Changes to the taste, color, or smell of your water

Depending on the location of your home, you may require more regular testing than others. For example, some regions of the United States are popular locations for mining or drilling activities, which can affect well water systems. Also, living near a landfill is cause for extra well maintenance.

More Well Maintenance Tips

Well water testing is not the responsibility of the government but of the people who use the well. For some, this responsibility may be too much. For others, they feel safer knowing the power in is their hands.

To find more useful articles like this one, take a second to browse our page.

For others, they feel safer knowing the power in is their hands.

To find more useful articles like this one, take a second to browse our page.


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