Water is our most important resource. All living things are made up of water. Depending on the size, age, and gender, a human is made up of about 60 percent water. Ground water quality can affect our health. The water needs to be clean, and free from harmful bacteria, for us to use it and keep healthy. Depending on where you live in the United States, water can be plentiful or scarce.
Ground Water Quality
Private wells used for individual homes are not regulated by the EPA, but it is the responsibility of the owners to send samples to a water sample testing laboratory. The water’s taste, smell, or color can’t tell you that it doesn’t contain any contaminants. Some of the most hazardous contaminants are undetectable by looks or taste. One particular bacteria that should be checked for annually is coliform, which is commonly found in the environment. Fecal coliform bacteria are found in great quantities in the intestines and feces of animals and people. If coliform bacteria are found in your water, your well may be contaminated with feces or sewage, and there is strong potential for serious illness.
Larger municipalities depend mostly on large quantities of surface water. Surface water is the least expensive method for towns and cities to provide water for their people, but it will likely have more contaminants that need to be removed than ground water. Ground water is naturally filtered through sand and rock, etc. Urban areas that are not situated near freshwater lakes or rivers need to supply their people with well water. With possible industrial pollution present, these areas are of great concern for ground water contamination.
Water quality test labs check water samples for bacteria, arsenic, radon, uranium, iron, manganese, and other naturally occurring chemicals and minerals. If a well is situated near agricultural property, there is the danger of fertilizers, pesticides, and animal excrement seeping through the soil and affecting the ground water. Wells on property near gas stations or industrial businesses are at risk for contamination from petroleum or other chemicals seeping into the ground. Certain contaminants can cause gastrointestinal problems, reproductive problems, or neurological disorders. The very young and very old are especially at risk for health issues. A water sample testing laboratory should recheck the quality of well water annually.