Published: June 20, 2016

    Why You Should Test Your Well Water Regularly

    Over 15 million US households rely on private wells for their drinking water.

    It’s important to remember the EPA’s regulations protecting public drinking water do not apply to private wells, so if you own a well you’re the one responsible for periodically checking the quality of your drinking water.

    Well Water Contaminants and Quality Issues

    Wells draw water from local groundwater reserves, which may be contaminated with a wide range of microorganisms, chemicals, minerals, and organic material. Cracks in well walls, flooding, and broken well caps can also introduce contaminants to drinking water. Possible well water problems include:

    • Bacteria, parasites, and viruses capable of causing serious gastrointestinal illness.
    • Ph levels which leave water too acidic or alkaline, resulting in damaged pipes which may leach lead into drinking water.
    • Nitrates originating from animal waste, agricultural runoff, damaged septic tanks, and wastewater.
    • Volatile organic chemicals originating from pesticides, insecticides, and industrial runoff.
    • High levels of naturally occurring minerals and metals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, copper, and radium.

     The presence of any of these substances can cause serious health problems, especially for the young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. While some contaminants may lead to discolored, foul-tasting, or smelly water, many present no obvious signs. Only testing reveals their presence.

    When to Test Your Well Water

    The EPA recommends well water be tested at least once every twelve months. This is a minimum recommendation—depending on your well’s history or recent events you may need to test water more often.

    In addition to a regular water testing schedule, you should test water if any of the following circumstances apply:

    • If you detect a change in the taste, appearance, or smell of your water.
    • If the well shows any signs of damage, such as a broken well cap.
    • After floodwater inundation.
    • After discovering any possible contaminant source.
    • If the well has a history of bacterial contamination.
    • If a near-by septic tank malfunctions or leaks.
    • If family members suffer recurring gastrointestinal problems.
    • If an infant, elder, or person with a compromised immune system uses the water.

    Pelican Water’s 12-Point Rapid Water test

    If you think your well water is contaminated, you want a test that detects as many substances as possible while providing quick results. The Pelican Rapid 12-Point Water Test detects twelve possible contaminants, giving you a one-test means to detect such problems as:

    • Chloride
    • Copper
    • Fluoride
    • Manganese
    • Ph levels
    • Sulfate
    • Tannins
    • Total coliform (bacteria) levels
    • Total Dissolved Solids
    • Total iron
    • Turbidity
    • Water hardness.

    We recommend always having a well water test kit on hand for situations when water quality might change quickly, such as after floods, septic tank malfunctions, or unexpected agricultural runoff.

    Testing well water is only part of the solution. Once you detect a contaminant you need to address the issue. Call us with the results of our 12-point rapid water test and we’ll give you a $99.99 credit towards any Pelican Premium Whole House Water System.