Building and Testing Well Water, What you Need to Know

Published On: March 11, 2014

There are few things as refreshing as clean well water for your home. However, even if you live far away from the city and do not believe that any contaminants are in the area, you still need to check your well water on a regular basis to ensure the safety of you and your family. Checking your well water and making proper adjustments, such as adding water filters, doing water analysis and having proper water conditioning features can make all the difference in whether your well water is safe to drink.

If you are considering building a well, then you will need to be sure that having a well is the right choice for your property. For the most part, well water needs to be far away from any potential contaminants, power, gas and water lines or any other underground man-made obstruction. Once you have determined that a well is right for you, then you can proceed to build one.

What You Need to Do to Build a Proper Well

There are a number of things to do when it comes to the safety of your well water. If you are building a well, then keep these tips in mind.

  • Always construct a well before you build anything else.
  • Hire a certified water well contractor before building
  • Ask for a written contract to insure that your well is done properly
  • Hire a certified pump installer that uses the right equipment
  • Check the bacterial and chemical quality on a regular basis

Remember to not take anyone’s word when it comes to the quality of your well and the water it produces. A proper well contractor will have everything in writing so that you get what you need. Finally, if you have the pick of several qualified well construction contractors, the price should be the deciding issue, not the first one in making your selection.

How Often Should I Check My Well Water?

Remember, you are responsible for checking the quality of your well water. The main reason you will need to check your well water on a timely basis is that it can catch possible contamination that you might not be aware. This is vital to stopping a potentially larger scale contamination before it takes root. This means that you will need to set up an easy to remember checklist that you will follow at the appropriate times, although if you suspect some form of contamination, then you should make your check immediately.

Bacteria: You should check for bacterial contamination every six months. Bacteria is the most common form of well water contamination and it can occur to wells in any area of the country, so be sure to check it on a six month basis.

Chemical: Chemical checks should be made on an annual basis or every two years at the most. If you notice any change in the water, such as in the taste or odor, if the water creates a stain in the sink or is harder, then you should test immediately to see if chemicals have intruded.

If you have installed a water filtration system in your home, check the water filters as well to see if there are any changes. If you notice a substantial change in a short period of time, then your well water might be contaminated.

How Can I Protect My Water Supply?

Testing in an important part of maintaining the quality of your well water, however there are other steps that you can take which will help improve your chances of preventing future contamination or by filtering the water to catch any contaminants before it reaches you and your family.

Disinfecting the Well and Well Equipment

Regular cleaning of the well, pump and pipes will help prevent a buildup of bacteria from entering your water supply. Remember that contamination can occur at any point between the well and your home, so it pays to test by checking the water directly first if possible, then working your way towards the home to detect just where the contamination might be.

There are a number of chemical disinfectants that can rid the well, pump and pipes of contamination. Remember that a disinfectant should only be used after any flaws in the construction of your well, pump and pipes has been performed. Basically, unless you track the source of the contamination, then disinfecting the entire system may only buy you a short amount of time at best.

Once the source of the contamination has been found, then you will need to perform a disinfecting procedure immediately, then follow up in 1 to 2 weeks, then another follow up 1 month later to fully rid your water supply of the contamination. Once that is accomplished, then you can re-test to see if the contamination has returned. Chlorine is generally used to disinfect the well, pump and pipes because bacteria are still not resistant to this very harsh chemical. However, it will need to reach all areas of your well system to be fully effective.

Testing the Well & Equipment

Basically, you will also need to check the well and equipment on a regular basis to see if there is any damage that might lead to a potential contamination. Here are a few tips that can keep your well secure.

  • Check all well equipment at least once each year
  • Be sure that the cap is secure and water tight
  • Check the vent screen for any vegetation growth
  • Look for any surface water that is pooling near the cap to the well.
  • Check the pump and pipes for any leaks.

In addition, you should also keep everything away from your well to insure that it does not get accidentally contaminated. All garbage, including liquids and solids should be kept well away, do not flush any contaminants down your toilet as a leak in the drainage could contaminate your water supply. The same goes for paints, oils, pesticides and the like.

The proper care of your well can keep you and your family healthy for years to come. Be sure that you take the proper care in building, testing and inspecting your well.