A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Well Water Testing

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Well Water Testing

Getting water from a private well? If so, it’s important to have your water tested regularly. Well water testing allows you to monitor the quality of your potable water. To ensure if it’s drinkable and safe to use or not.

It’s not the same as public water systems. The private well water doesn’t have a check and balance by the government. You need to do that on your own. By arranging regular well water testing.

Before we get directly into the process or benefits of conducting a well water testing. Let’s discuss first what is well water testing exactly. It’s like a thorough inspection of your well water for various contaminants. That could be present in your water or its source. 

The professional inspectors will pass your private well water through different parameters. That could be physical or chemical. This thorough testing reveals if your water contains these substances. And if yes, then to what extent or levels? If these contaminants are at an unsafe level, you’ll need to take action. 

Routine testing is the only way to truly know whether your well water meets the standards of health and safety. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends annual testing for private well owners. 

If you continuously suspect a change in your water taste, smell, or color, Then you must conduct thorough well water testing. Especially if your home or nearby area has seen disasters like floods or earthquakes. Also, if there’s any construction work going on near your place, your water could be polluted from there as well. 

Now that you’ve clearly understood what is well water testing exactly. Let Hawley Home Inspections guide you through the process of 

How Well Water Is Tested?

Testing your well water is very important whether you do it annually or whenever needed. The professional inspectors detect any emerging problems early. This will help you avoid potential health issues and take timely action. Here are some steps that professional inspectors take for well water testing.

Sample Collection

The inspectors collect proper samples to get accurate test results. They collect the samples from the well before any treatment systems. Make sure the tap is sanitized with bleach and then flushed for 5-10 minutes before they collect water samples. These samples should be kept cool and delivered to the lab within 24 hours. After that, the lab will provide detailed instructions on proper sampling methods.

Physical Parameters 

The inspectors will pass your water samples through some physical parameters. Like taste, odor, color, and clarity. Because taste and odor indicate contamination. And if there is any discoloration or cloudiness, it could mean elevated levels of metals, minerals, or sediments. 

When you test these physical characteristics, you meet the aesthetic drinking water standards. 

Chemical Parameters

The inspectors will then pass your well water through a range of inorganic chemicals. Your septic system and groundwater could be contaminated by nitrates from fertilizers – found commonly. 

You can also find metals like arsenic, lead, copper, and chromium leaching into your groundwater under certain conditions. The inspectors also consider other parameters, including iron, manganese, chloride, sodium, hardness, and pH. 

Microbiological Testing

Your inspectors will pass the well water through microbiological testing. They’ll look for microbes like E. coli, total coliforms, and fecal coliforms. These pathogens can enter your groundwater from animal and human waste. And if these microbiological contaminants are ingested, it can cause an immediate health risk. 

Interpretation of Results 

Once your samples are tested, you can compare the results to the EPA Standards. Which applies to the drinking water for maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). If your water’s MCLs are low, your water would be considered safe to drink. And if it exceeds the recommended limits, you’ll have to take action. Like treatment systems, blending water, or finding alternative sources. 

Benefits Of Well Water Testing

Regular well water testing can result in your interests. From ensuring safe drinking water to protecting your health. You can expect anything good. Let’s explore some of these benefits.  

Health Protection

Regular well water testing ensures the safe consumption of the water. The inspectors verify if you and your family are consuming water that is free from harmful contaminants. It’s important to protect your health and prevent waterborne diseases.

Safe Drinking Water

Well, water testing helps you ensure that your water meets the required safety standards. This is particularly important for you to know whether or not your water is safe to drink. And is pure from contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and chemical pollutants.

Early Detection of Contaminants

Timely interventions are important. When you test your well water regularly, it allows you to detect potential contaminants beforehand. Such as bacteria, nitrates, heavy metals, or other pollutants. Identifying issues early on will enable you to consider prompt intervention. And take corrective measures before those issues escalate.

Well Maintenance and Longevity

Testing can reveal problems with the well structure or equipment. Such as corrosion or mineral build-up. When you identify these issues early, you can then take timely maintenance, prevent further damage, and extend the lifespan of your well.

Prevention of Waterborne Diseases

Well water testing will help you prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. Bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause that. The testing ensures the absence of these contaminants in your well water. And reduces the risk of illnesses like gastrointestinal infections.

The Bottom Line

You can’t deny the benefits of clean, contaminant-free water.  

Testing your well water regularly is your way to go for safe drinking water. It ensures your family’s health is protected. While you may feel it’s an unnecessary expense, it’s minor compared to your well-being. 

Observe your well water every day. If you notice even a mild change in its taste and appearance or sense a smell. It’d be an alarming sign to get your well water tested. Scroll through our blog section to learn more about inspections.

Khurram Shahzad

Book Your Home Inspection

Hawley Home Inspections LLC, offers home inspections backed by years of field experience. We carry General Liability, Work Comp, and E&O insurance to protect our customers.

Serving the entire St Louis Metro Area and South Western Illinois since 2010.

Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved. Designed and Developed by digilatics