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Friday, June 24, 2011
When it comes to safe drinking water, those who drink from private wells must be aware of the possibility of contamination. Well water, which if privately owned, does not, by law, have to be treated for bacteria or mineral removal. This can lead to serious health issues if the water becomes contaminated. Well water contamination can occur naturally, or it may occur because of human activity.

Some of the most common ways that private well water can become contaminated include:

Microorganisms are perhaps the most well-known way that private well water contamination occurs. These include parasites, certain types of bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that are often found in ground water. It should be known that shallow wells are most susceptible to this type of contamination.

Well water can also become contaminated after a run off event which can take place after heavy rains, flooding, or snow melts. This free flowing water can carry and introduce bacteria or chemicals into the well water, often without the owner knowing it.

In some parts of the country, heavy metals can be found in well water. Heavy metals can pose a significant health risk to those who ingest it, especially in children and seniors. Underground rocks and soils may contain arsenic, lead, selenium, chromium, cadmium, and various other types of metals.

For those who live in rural areas, fertilizers and certain types of pesticides can also contaminate well water. When fertilizers or pesticides come into contact with rain water or snow melt, they can mix with the water and flow into the well itself or seep into the well through the soil. Some brands of fertilizers contain nitrogen. This nitrogen may become nitrate when it is combined with oxygen.

As for nitrate, higher levels of nitrate are generally brought about because of human activity. This can occur if a feeding pen or animal waste area is located too close to the well or above the well’s source flow. In addition, fertilizer run off, septic tanks, and several other types of nitrate sources can also lead to contamination. Water that is high in nitrate content can be very hazardous to children, women who are pregnant as well as to the fetus.

Because of more intense laws governing industrial discharges, discharge of industrial waste into well water has actually gone down over the years. However, it must be kept in mind that not all industrial owners will follow the law. This means this type of waste can, and does, get into private well water at times.

Underground storage tanks are another source of well water contamination if they should leak. The most dangerous of these tanks are those that store gasoline or other types of fuel. Many of these tanks were left in place as gas stations closed down or were abandoned in the past. Also, some above-ground storage tanks, such as those commonly seen on many farms, may also leak over time, thus posing a risk to any local well water.

Because protecting your well water is so important to you and to your family, homeowners should consider installing high-quality, in-home water filters. These water filters can remove a variety of contaminates and do so as the water enters the home.

For information on protecting your well water from contamination, contact a reliable water filter vendor and discuss your needs. There are currently a wide variety of solutions to meet any budget.


by: Chris Tracey


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August 20, 2011 at 4:14 AM  

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