So you’ve relocated to the countryside and discovered that you don’t have a monthly water bill. That’s not because the water is free — it’s because you now have private well water. How do you treat well water and remove any harmful bacteria or chemicals before drinking it?
What Is Well Water?
The drinking water in your home comes from one of two sources: the local water utility company or a private well. You may not be familiar with modern well water, but it is not as rare as you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 15 million homes in America use well water.
Well water is not pumped into your home through a system of pipes stretching out across a city. Instead, well water is typically pumped into your home directly from a nearby well with the use of a jet system.
In terms of drinking water quality, the main difference between well water and public tap water is the amount of regulations enforced. Well water is not monitored or controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency. When a family moves into a home with well water it is their responsibility to maintain the well and ensure the water is safe to drink and use in their home.
Is Well Water Good for You?
Private well owners do not have their water treated with chlorine or chloramines from the local water utility company. Because well water is not treated with chemicals designed to deal with organic contaminants, well water carries a higher risk of bacterial or viral infection.
Coliform bacteria can cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping shortly after consumption. Coliform bacteria (strains you might know include E. Coli) end up in well water through accidents like ruptured septic tanks and through unfortunate environmental causes like agricultural or industrial runoff.
Runoff from nearby farms can cause pesticides to seep into the soil and infect your well with nitrates. 42% of randomly tested wells in Wisconsin tested for elevated levels of nitrates or bacteria.
Well water can be as pure or purer than tap water and free of worrisome contaminants. The maintenance and care of a private well is completely up to the owner. You should conduct routine well water testing and confirm your well construction follows suggested protocol. In addition, you can remove unwanted contaminants and resolve taste and smell issues by treating well water as it enters your home.
How to Treat Well Water
One common problem with well water is visible sediment, which can occur if you live in sandy areas near the coast. While sediment does not pose a serious health concern, the funky taste and gritty texture is far from refreshing. Whole house water filtration systems like our Anti Scale 3 Stage Whole House System to prevent the formation of scale and corrosion while removing sediment like sand and improving the taste and smell of your well water.
Microbial contaminants are among the top concerns for private well owners. Especially if you have detected contaminants or experienced issues before, we recommend the combination of reverse osmosis filtration and the power of ultraviolet treatment. A Reverse Osmosis Ultraviolet System installed in your kitchen filters more than 100 contaminants to provide your family with the safest water possible. RO and UV combined will eradicate most well water problems ranging from coliform bacteria and E. coli to arsenic and nitrates.
Multiple stages of protection provide the best peace of mind for families that drink from private wells. The sediment filter and carbon filter of a whole house system, combined with additional reverse osmosis and ultraviolet treatment for drinking water, will deliver water that is refreshing to drink and safe to consume.