Defend Your Family’s Health with the Right Well Water Testing

Many people are aware that well water may contain too many minerals, heavy metals or chemical contaminants that can cause symptoms like digestive upsets. But it may not be as well known that certain health conditions make some individuals unusually sensitive to the quality of their drinking water. In these situations, it becomes absolutely essential to provide the highest purity drinking water possible.

Eliminating minerals, metals, chemicals or microorganisms that can cause problems for these sensitive individuals starts with an understanding of what’s in a well water supply right now. This investigation of water quality should start with the most comprehensive water test that can be afforded. Compared to the cost of healthcare, a comprehensive water test is actually pretty affordable.

Once the water source has been properly tested, it’s then possible to select the right filtering or water treatment system that will clean out unwanted substances.

Who May Be Particularly Sensitive to Well Water Contaminants?

If you have any of the following types of individuals living in your household, it becomes vital to monitor the quality of your well water.

  • New babies: Babies are especially sensitive to certain common water contaminants. Well water should be tested to ensure it does not contain coliform bacteria, nitrate, nitrite, arsenic, lead, and manganese. Nitrites and nitrates block the blood from being able to carry as much oxygen which can lead to what’s called “blue baby syndrome.” A baby with this condition actually looks bluish. Blue baby syndrome can cause rapid heartbeat, lethargy, diarrhea, seizures and even death. E. coli in the water can cause bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, fatigue, fever and nausea. 
  • Young children: For their sizes, young children drink more water than adults do. Therefore, they may get a larger dose of any contaminants in the household water. Many common well water contaminants will interfere with their development and growth. Specifically, arsenic can impact their cognitive development. Too much lead coming from groundwater or from plumbing fixtures can interfere with development of the brain and nervous system. The result can be learning, speech and behavior problems, loss of IQ or hyperactivity.
  • Pregnant women: When pregnant women are being supplied with well water, great care should be taken to ensure that the water is high quality. Infections resulting from E. coli in the water supply can lead to pregnant women becoming dehydrated, or suffering bleeding, miscarriage or preterm delivery. High copper levels are associated with preeclampsia. Arsenic in groundwater can cause higher risks of stillbirth and abortion. In the U.S., those states adjacent to the most recently-glaciated areas (Great Lakes, New England, along the northern border, Dakotas) are the most likely to have arsenic in groundwater. 
  • Those who are immunocompromised: Many health conditions can cause a suppression of one’s immune system. Among them are receiving chemotherapy, having received an organ transplant, infection with HIV, lupus or type 1 diabetes. Certain congenital conditions also result in lowered immunity. Contaminants that might not bother a healthy person can be very hard for these individuals. It is important to ensure that water is free from microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and parasites. Hard water can corrode pipes, resulting in metals like lead and copper entering the household water. Industrial chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known for their non-stick properties) are especially hard on immunocompromised individuals.
  • The elderly: As we get older, we are less able to eliminate contaminants found in well water and elsewhere. Many older people also have one or more chronic illnesses, which also reduces the ability of the body to detoxify itself. Older people may also have lower incomes, meaning that they cannot afford bottled water if their well or city water is poor quality. Nitrates and nitrites in the water supply can cause thyroid problems, higher heart rate, fatigue and vertigo. 

Contamination with lead or the microorganism E. coli can also severely impact older residents. Arsenic in the water can cause discoloration of the skin and skin cancers, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and numbness in the hands and feet. It is important to not assume that these problems are simply accompaniments to aging. The problems could stem from well water contaminants.

Getting Contaminants Out of the Water

Once you know what is in your water, it’s not so hard to get the contaminants out. Microorganisms can usually be eliminated with an effective disinfection routine. Chemicals, metals and excessive minerals can be removed with the right water filtration system.

There are three popular types of water filtration: ion exchange, carbon filter and reverse osmosis. The right one for your household depends on the contaminants in your well water. Find out what you need to remove by testing your well water.

Not sure which water test you need? Call us at (800) 344-9977 and we will help you decide on the right kind of water test for your well. We will also follow this test with a no-charge consultation to advise you on the best filtration for your water supply.