Restoring Water Quality & Maintenance Tips

Restoring Water Quality
Damaged or failing water wells can become contaminated by bacteria/organisms or chemicals which be harmful if ingested. Contaminates can stem from:
  • Agricultural run-off/fertilizers
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Malfunctioning septic systems
  • Road salt
Private water well owners are encouraged to have their well water tested on a regular basis to ensure drinking water is safe for consumption.

The National Ground Water Association recommends well owners test the water for bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and any other contaminants of local concern as broken well caps or new contamination sources may go unnoticed and cause issues with well water purity.

If contamination is detected in your water supply, stop using that source immediately and find alternative drinking water options (distilled water from grocery store, etc.). Contact a water-treatment company in your area and alert your local health department.

Water testing can also be useful for monitoring the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.

Well Maintenance and Treatment Tips
Create a Well Maintenance Log
Keep a well log that includes a reference number for the well, original site owner, location of the well, age, condition, construction and contractor details, as well as the results from any water tests. This information will provide the basis on which to schedule water tests and inspections of well equipment, as well as regular maintenance and repairs.

Well Inspection

Inspect your wellhead several times a year. Check the condition of the well covering, casing and well cap to make sure all are in good repair, leaving no cracks or other entry points for potential pollutants. Have the well system, including the pump, storage tank, pipes and valves, and water flow, inspected every 10 years by a qualified well contractor.

When your well reaches the end of its serviceable life, usually more than 20 years, contact your well contractor to install a new system and properly close the old well.

When to Test Water
Test drinking water immediately if you have no recent test results or any record of previous tests.

Test if you notice any change in the taste, color or odor of your water. Test frequently in special situations (someone in the household is pregnant or nursing; there are unexplained illnesses in the family; your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water; or there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well.

Test after disinfection, within one or two weeks, to make sure the water is pure.

Test after any flooding in or near the well, to determine if flood water carried bacteria or other contaminants into the well system.

Water Treatment System
Test drinking water before installing any water treatment device.

Follow the inspection and maintenance schedule provided by your water treatment device manufacturer or water treatment company.