Have you recently purchased a new home that comes with its own water well? Then allow us to be among the first to congratulate you: well done!
Because you are no longer reliant on a municipal water source, you’re one step closer to the great American dream of self-dependence. You’re no longer subject to regular water bills. You’re no longer missing out on the essential minerals removed by water treatment plants. You’re also no longer drinking the chemical disinfectants those same plants add to water.
But with greater self-reliance also comes greater responsibility. Now that yours is one of the tens of millions of households which relies on a private well, you’ve got to be aware of a few things. Ensuring your own steady supply of clean, healthful tap water demands it!
Well Water Often Contains Hard Water Minerals
Zinc. Sodium. Potassium. Magnesium. Iron. Calcium. These are just some of the minerals your body requires to remain healthy – and which well water very conveniently also contains. Unfortunately, minerals that are good for your body aren’t necessarily good for your home’s plumbing as well.
Water wells commonly contain hard water, which is characterized by elevated levels of calcium and magnesium. Those minerals are prevalent in the soil, so they frequently dissolve in ground water before it accumulates inside a water well. Hard water causes limescale to build up inside plumbing, which increases the likelihood of clogging. Hard water forces appliances to work harder, which shortens their lifespans. It can even damage your hair by forming a thin film on it while you are bathing.
All of this is to say that a water softener is requisite for the vast majority of homes that have their own wells. Your home likely already had one installed before you purchased it. Inspect it to ensure it is in full working order, and keep it maintained to prevent damage to your plumbing, appliances and hair!
Well Water Often Contains Iron
Hard water is capable of depositing limescale on shower walls, sink basins and toilet bowls – but water that is rich in iron creates the most obstinate staining of all. When iron particles oxidize they turn reddish-brown, which is not coincidentally the same color as rust.
Plumbing fixtures in older homes that have cast iron plumbing are vulnerable to staining. So too are fixtures in homes that are supplied by water wells. Fortunately, the solution to iron staining is as simple as installing an iron filtration system. The appliance’s oxidizing filters convert iron from ferrous to ferric, in which form it is easily removed from the water before it arrives at a plumbing fixture. Many such filters also remove sulfur, a yellowish mineral which commonly dissolves in ground water and smells of rotten eggs.
Consuming excessive iron can pose a health risk. Fortunately, well water that contains a high concentration of iron is seldom harmful to humans and pets. Do take care that high iron content can make it harder to remove harmful bacteria from well water. Although so-called “iron bacteria” are not harmful on their own, they can create conditions which are more conducive to the growth of other microorganisms which cause disease.
Well Water Sometimes Contains Serious Contaminants
Ground water can dissolve and absorb far more harmful substances than magnesium, calcium and iron. Uranium, arsenic and radon are all present in the Earth’s crust, and therefore capable of making their way into your home’s storage tank. Nearby farms and injudiciously placed septic tanks also threaten contamination of well water.
A reverse osmosis filtration system can help to protect you and your family from more serious contaminants. Annual well testing is also highly advisable, as it reveals small problems before they become expensive ones.
Water Wells Require Regular Maintenance
Annual well testing doesn’t simply reveal the presence of dangerous substances and microbes. A professional well technician will also conduct a flow test, check the valves and electrical components, and make certain the pump is functioning correctly.
Sometimes annual testing isn’t sufficient to keep a water well in full working order. If you note that your water has changed in color or odor, has become cloudy, or no longer exits the faucet as quickly as it once did, you should immediately bring the matter to a well technician’s attention.
Defunct Wells Should Be Professionally Abandoned
Does your new property have a defunct water well? An unsealed or improperly sealed well poses a serious risk of death or injury to children, pets, livestock and wild animals. It also threatens the quality of surrounding ground water by giving contaminants direct access to it. In short, if your house is near a disused well, it is in your best interests to have it professionally abandoned.
If you have a water well of any depth in Western Minnesota or Eastern North Dakota, then we welcome you to contact Geo-Tech of Minnesota today. In addition to drilling new wells, our expert technicians maintain and repair existing wells’ pumps and other components. We keep the water flowing!