Have you heard you should be testing your well water? Have you wondered if and when this testing is necessary? Here’s what you should know to make sure your well water is safe.
The quality and serviceability of water is your responsibility as the owner of a private well. Therefore, it is important to stay consistent with testing your well water.
This should include regularly testing for bacteria and nitrates. Bacteria can contaminate your water and could be caused by human or animal waste. Nitrates can occur naturally or be a result of fertilizers, septic system failure, or leaking sewage lines. These nitrates become dangerous in high levels.
When Should You Test Your Well Water?
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and the EPA recommend testing your well water once per year. Testing your well water when you have purchased a new home or had recent work performed on your well is also recommended. More frequent testing may be needed if there is a history of bacterial contamination.
You should test as soon as possible if any of these irregularities are present:
- Your water has a change in taste, odor, or color
- Your septic system has malfunctioned or a problem such as flooding or broken well cap has occurred
- Anyone in your family is experiencing frequent and/or recurring gastrointestinal issues
Who Should You Contact If You Would Like Your Well Water Tested?
You can contact your local health department about having your well water tested. For example, in Alabama, your county health department will provide you with an environmental specialist to collect a sample for $30 charge, or you may collect the sample yourself following the health department’s guidelines and required tools. However, fees and regulations will differ from county to county and state to state.
At Donald Smith Company, we are happy to assist or any questions you may have about testing your well water. You can contact us here.