If your home is supplied with water from your own well, do you think you can tell if it’s healthy just by looking at it? Or by smelling it?
As the title of this article suggests, you can’t. Your water can look perfectly clear and smell fine and not be healthy for you or your family. Here are some of the reasons why that’s true.
Sediment: Your well could have a sediment filter that results in a clear glass of water but that’s not enough. A sediment filter will not remove heavy metals such as lead or mercury, or bacteria or chemicals.
A sediment filter also needs to be changed every two or three months. If it’s left longer than that, you’ll soon be getting sediment in your drinking water or poor water pressure. If you wait until the sediment is visible in your water, that’s way too long between filter changes.
Bacteria: Bacterial contamination may not change the taste or appearance of your water. The only way to keep your water safe is with a regular schedule of water testing. It’s quite common for wells to be contaminated with coliform bacteria, including fecal coliform or E. coli. Some types of coliform bacteria are not harmful but if the well has fecal coliform or E. coli, the source of the contamination must be found and addressed, and the well must be disinfected. The water quality should be re-tested after disinfection to confirm that the source of the contamination was eliminated.
Fungi: Like with bacteria, you may not be able to detect the presence of fungi by smelling or tasting the water. Unfortunately, fungi are found nearly everywhere—in soil, air and surface water. In recent years, the role played by fungal contamination of water supplies has received greater recognition. Especially in a person without a strong immune system, fungi can cause skin, respiratory and sinus infections. These infections can become serious and even deadly. For that reason, it’s vital to monitor your well water for infiltration by fungi. The only acceptable level of fungi in your water supply is zero.
Effects of These Contaminants on Health
A person drinking or using well water with these contaminants could experience any of these symptoms:
- Digestive upsets such as cramps and nausea
- Respiratory infections
- Tender skin
- Red rashes or bumps on the skin
- Ear infections
- Low energy
If anyone in the household is elderly or immunocompromised, it’s even more important to monitor your water quality. If a baby is introduced to the home, that’s another time it’s important to check water quality.
Choosing the Right Test for Your Well Water
It’s not so easy to choose the best water test for your situation. We help our clients figure out where to start. Do they need a comprehensive water test that includes 113 substances including fungi, bacteria, pesticides, chemicals, metals, and minerals? Or would a simpler test tell them exactly what correction or repair is needed on their well?
We would be glad to help you zero in on any well water problems by advising you on the best test for your situation. We’ll help you understand the results when they come in as well. Give us a call at (800) 344-9977 to get started.