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Private Wells

Why Test Your Water?

Water is a universal solvent. Almost all natural and man-made chemicals can dissolve in water, causing contamination. Your well water originates as rain or snow that filters into the soil and is ultimately distributed throughout your home by your well. Water can be contaminated anywhere in its journey.

If you have a private well, water quality testing is important for you and your family. Contaminants in drinking water have been linked to many illnesses. Many of these contaminants have no taste, odor or color. Their presence can be determined by laboratory testing.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homeowners with private wells test their drinking water every year.

Contamination of Wells

Water can dissolve materials that are present on or in soil, and can result in contamination. Some contaminants are naturally occurring. These include bacteria and various minerals. Other contaminants find their way onto the land from human activities.

On a large scale, industrial/commercial activities, improper waste disposal, road salting, agricultural use, and fuel spills can introduce hazardous materials into the ground. However, even typical residential activities, such as the application of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fueling of lawn equipment, and disposal of household chemicals can contaminate your groundwater. Your private septic system can also pose a threat to your well. That is why taking measures to protect your well from contamination is so important.

When to Test Your Well

The EPA and our local Health Departments require testing of all wells that supply water to apartments, restaurants, condominiums, etc. The testing of these wells is typically required at least every three months. As a private homeowner you are not under the same regulations of the local Health Departments, but your well water supply is subject to the same contaminants that affect larger public water supplies. The EPA recommends that you test your private well water at least once a year because protecting your well from contamination is so important.