Well Water: Safety and Quality

by Nur Maisara

Well water safety can be affected by many factors, including :
  • How the well was built

  • Where it’s located

  • How it’s maintained

  • The quality of the aquifer supplying the well

  • Human activities in your area

Why you should assess your water regularly?

  • Unlike public water systems, private water supply testing is the voluntary responsibility of the homeowner. There are no government agencies or programs that routinely test private water systems for homeowners.

  • Surveys indicate that about half of the private water supplies have never been tested.

  • Additional studies have found that about 50 percent of private water systems fail at least one drinking water standard.

  • Many pollutants found in private water systems have no obvious symptoms and can only be detected through laboratory testing.

  • Water testing is generally economical and convenient with many testing laboratories located throughout the state.

  • Water testing provides vital information to document the quality of your drinking water. Data from previous tests may be necessary if you ever need to prove in court that a nearby land use has damaged your drinking water quality.

  • The only way homeowners can be certain that their water is safe to drink is to have the water tested periodically.

Water Tests Parameters:

1) Color
    Color in water may be due to the inorganic ions, such as iron and manganese, humus
    and peat materials, plankton, weeds and industrial waste.

2) Odor
    Odor is recognized as a quality factor affecting acceptability of drinking water. Most
    organic and some inorganic chemicals contribute odor. 

3) Turbidity
    The turbidity in water is the reduction of transparency due to the presence of particulate
    matter such as clay or slit, finely divided organic matter, plankton or other microscopic

4) Manganese
    The intake of manganese can be high as 20mg/day without apparent ill effects . It should 

    be noted  that manganese may be objectionable to consumers if it is deposited in water
    mains and causes water discoloration.

5) Iron 
    Anaerobic ground waters may contain iron up to several milligrams per liter without
    causing discoloration or turbidity in the water.

6) Calcium 
    Calcium is the major constituent of various types of rock. It is one of the most common
    constituents present in natural waters ranging from zero to several hundred milligrams per

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