What’s the Deal with Well Water?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

While it may not be the most common occurrence in Virginia, you may be surprised to know that there are many homes (especially those out in the country and rural areas) that get their water not from a municipal water source, but from a private water well. What does it mean if you have well water? Are there certain things you need to look out for? Should you get that water filtered?

In this post we will dive into all of those questions and more!

What is it?

Much like the name suggests, well water is when you have a private well on your property which sources all the water your home needs – toilets, sinks, showers, hoses. Any place that has water is getting that water from your own person well. Well water comes straight from the ground and is untreated (unlike the water that comes from a municipal source).

What’s in it?

Since well water is untreated and straight from the ground, there is a risk of several different contaminants getting into your water. It is important to note that because the environment changes, what is in your well water can change too.

Microorganisms

This includes bacteria, viruses, and even parasites that can get into your water just because they live in nature or because rain or melting snow washes them into your well. When you consume any of these, you can experience gastrointestinal issues.  

Nitrate

Nitrate is present in fertilizers and human sewages and can easily get into your water well through water run-off. Unfortunately, high levels of nitrates in drinking water can badly affect infants, causing a disease called blue baby syndrome which causes shortness of breath and a blue tint in the skin.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead) can get into your water a variety of ways from plumbing to natural mineral deposits to plants and mines. They will get into your water well from water seepage and runoff, just like most other contaminants. The danger of drinking water with heavy metals is liver and kidney damage and even intestinal damage.

Chemicals

Another thing that can get into your water well from water runoff are organic chemicals. These are things you find in ink, paint, medicine, cleaning products. People who drink water with organic chemicals in it can suffer many issues including reproductive issues, nervous system issues, and kidney and liver issues.

Radium and Uranium

These radionuclides are very harmful and are usually released from mining or power plants and can even exist naturally in some areas. Drinking water with these elements can increase your risk of cancer.

What can you do?

The first step is testing your water to see what contaminants it contains. You can do this yourself, but to get the most comprehensive results and recommendations, call Marines Service Co. to take care of it for you. We will be able to figure out exactly what contaminants your well water has and what levels they are.

After you’ve tested it, you will want to get a filter, especially for your drinking water. There are several different kinds, though most people choose to go with a reverse osmosis system to filter out the most contaminants.

The EPA recommends testing your well water every year since the ground is constantly changing. Levels of one contaminant may change so it is best to do a yearly test.

As you can see, there are so many things that can get into your private water wells. If you live on a property with a water well, call Marines Service Co. so we can help you check for contaminants and install the proper filtration system, so the water is safe for everyone living there.

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