The Must-Knows of a Water Well System If You Own One
While some city dwellers might not have seen a well in real life, well systems have been around since the ancient Egyptian civilization. Through adverse climates, scorching suns, and droughts, wells have helped humans survive the test of time by storing our major life source [water] during the harshest of conditions deep inside the ground. Despite their old origins, wells are still in use today by residents in rural areas and for anyone who trusts the ground water more than water provided by their local government.
If you find yourself moving away from the urban chaos for a peaceful life in the country, you might find yourself needing a well or already owning one that came with the property. Now, as romantic and tranquil the idea seems to be, owning a well system isn’t always as easy as it may seem to be. Of course, if you are lucky and do not run into any problems with your well in your lifetime, you can get by without knowing much more than the basics of a well system. However, if a problem arises you will wish your well came with a manual because well problems can be extremely tricky, especially if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
So, to help those who own wells, or may be curious about wells in general, here are some basic questions and answers that may be beneficial to know.
Is the Water Safe for Drinking?
Frequently asked questions, especially among new well owners, include: “Is well water safe for drinking? Aren’t there germs and bacteria? Do I have to purify it?” Understandably, these are very valid questions coming from someone who has been provided with water from the local authorities in the past, which was assured to be safe and clean. Here, you should know that these assurances are made for a reason.
The water that the government provides you is purified with various chemicals, whose job is to neutralize any contaminants such as bacteria, but some of these chemicals are associated with diseases of various extents, the worst case scenario being cancer. In contrast, well water comes from underground where no artificial chemicals are supposed to be present. The water comes through a series of natural filters that clean up your water to a reasonable degree. However, you should not really depend totally on mother nature itself, because bacteria are parts of nature as well. In fact most states require you to have your water tested before it is declared safe to drink or use. The testing kit does not cost much and you have to test your well system right after construction, or gaining ownership. You should keep in mind that the mandatory test is just a one-time process. After that, it’s your responsibility to get the water tested on a regular basis.
How Often Should I Test the Water?
Although there is no rule of thumb for this, you would be safe to check the water annually if there are no problems in your well system. Since clean water is extremely vital to your health, longer intervals could be risky. However, there are circumstances which will require additional tests beside the annual tests. If you or any member of your family notice a change in taste, odor, or color of the water or if someone in your family (or whoever uses the well water) is down with a stomach ache for an extended period of time, you should perform a test. Natural events or disasters like earthquakes and storms can affect the well system, creating leakages that may be inviting to contaminants. These events call for a test as well. Not performing regular tests can be risky to your health and can even be fatal. Many illnesses have befallen family members of well owners who have neglected to test their water making them unable to identify the origin of the disease to be their very own water well system.
Clean Before Testing
There is not really much point in testing the water if your well system is not clean and in the best condition. If your system is unhygienic, you can rest assured that it contains a lot of contaminants and germs; no need to wait for the test results. It is very crucial that you ensure that your well is in the cleanest condition possible before conducting a test. It is important to hire a professional to clean your well rather than attempt to do so yourself. These professionals have the necessary experience and expertise to carry out such tasks. Contact us at (610) 942-3865 when your well needs cleaning.
Call a Professional
Many well owners falsely think that cleaning a well system on their own would not be an issue. While their hands-on attitude is laudable, it also happens to be a definite don’t-do when it comes to well systems. Owners trying to fix problem themselves often end up failing to solve the problem and sometimes makes the problem even worse. Any time an unprofessional tries to service the well, there will be an increased risk of introducing bacteria and other contaminants into the well. Instances where tools are dropped in the well, pumps getting stuck in the process of replacing, and in the worst case scenario, electrocution, are not unheard of, and are in fact quite common. So call the professionals whenever you need to do maintenance work of any kind on your well, including a simple cleaning or testing. Understand that risking a well system is not just risking a machine, it’s also risking the health of you and your family.
Owners often worry about their well running dry. While it is rare, it is by no means unheard of. There are many factors that can run a well dry, even permanently, but most of them are due to maintenance or operational mistakes rather than natural occurrences. When the water in a well falls down below the level of the pump, it is said to be dry. Usually, this is the case when a household dependant on water from a well system pumps out too much water at once. And while most pumps can bring the water level back up to normal in a short time if the water usage is paused, running the well dry can be fatal to your pump, and you should know with a little research that replacing pumps can cost quite a lot. So how do you prevent yourself from ruining your pump accidentally?
Detecting a low level of water is quite simple and does not involve you sticking your neck down the well and seeing the water level. Whenever you feel a gradual decrease in the water pressure, this means the water level in the well is low. That is usually a good indication on when to stop using the water for a short time to allow the level of water in the well to increase and save your pump. If your water pressure is still low after the motor has been working for a while, it might mean you have a leakage, in which case, the system should be tested right away.
As stated earlier, natural events that can run your well dry are quite uncommon, but not unheard of. Unlike the common misconception, your pump is not directly connected to an underground river. It simply collects it from a point where the water seeps through natural filters of small rocks. If that point is disturbed, your well’s water supply source may be cut off, or leakages from other parts of the ground may contaminate the water. After all natural occurrences, it is very important that you get your well system checked thoroughly.
Finally, you should always do your research and homework before conducting any kind of changes to your well. The more you know about how wells work, the better informed you will be when it is time to make important decisions regarding your well when professionals give you different options.