A water well on your property is a great benefit for irrigation and drinking, but if you use your well water for drinking, did you know it could be contaminated? Public water systems require testing, but the EPA doesn’t require this for privately owned wells. This means that you could unknowingly be exposed to bacterial and chemical contaminants that could harm your health. Here’s why you should consider well water testing at a drinking water quality testing lab.
What to Test for
A water testing company looks at several water quality indicators (WQIs) to determine the safety of your well water. A WQI test measures how many germs are in the water as well as other chemicals. Some amount of these substances is normal, but high levels could cause illnesses. Bacteriological testing looks for the levels of total coliforms in the water. These are microbes in the soil, plants, surface water, and digestive systems of animals. High levels of total coliform could mean that other harmful parasites and bacteria are in the water as well. E. coli is another bacteria water quality tests check for. This type of E. coli is typically harmless, but could mean feces are somehow finding a way into your water supply. Water quality tests also check the pH level and look for other contaminants like nitrates, metals, and other chemicals commonly used in agricultural and industrial processes.
When to Test the Water
Your well water should be checked once a year for nitrates, pH levels, total coliform bacteria, and total dissolved solids. There may be other contaminants common in your area that you can choose to test for as well. If others in your area have had problems with their well water or there’s been flooding or other issues near your well, you should have the water tested. In addition, any repairs to your well system or a change in the water of any kind warrant a quality check.
How to Check the Well
You should always contact a water testing company for accurate testing results. This also allows you to talk with professionals in your area who are familiar with common issues the area’s water supply faces to ensure you get adequate testing, so you can take any necessary measures to make sure your drinking water is safe.