As a water well owner, you might not think to have your water tested on a regular basis. As a result, your well could need treatment and you won’t even know it. Water testing on a regular basis is a must, even if you have a water treatment system in your home. Well water characteristics are known to change with time, and it is important to know what your family is consuming. Here we explain the importance of water testing, and how to recognize signs your water well needs treatment.
The Importance of Well Water Testing
According to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) if you own a well, you should be using ongoing testing to make sure your water is safe. Proper well water testing covers all bases to look for any possible contaminants. Annual testing detects among other elements the following:
- Coliform bacteria
- Total dissolved solids
- A further test should be run every two to five years to test for the following:
- Gross Alpha
Depending on your location, you might also test for pesticides. Blue Heron Water can recommend the tests specific to your area.
What Do Water Treatments Do?
While there is no one size fits all treatment for your well water, water treatments are designed to remove contaminants found in water testing. In some cases, your water could be completely safe and require no treatments at all, while in other cases tests might find several contaminants. You may find that your existing treatment systems, although working at one time, are now not up to par. An indication that it might be time to upgrade the equipment. When several contaminants are found you require a combination of treatments to remove each contaminant effectively.
Check Your Water’s Appearance
Water should be clear. If it appears to have sediment, is cloudy, or is rusty or tan in color, this is a sign your water is in need of treatment. When you can see the sediment or discoloration in your water, you need a filtration treatment. First, it has to be determined what is causing the issues, and then the size and type of filtration can be recommended. There are several things that can lead to discoloration or sediment including:
- Residual bentonite
- Natural clays
- Organic particles
- Dissolved iron
Speaking to a water treatment expert is key, as there are several types of filters available. You want a filter that will remove the contaminants, but that also won’t have pores that are too small. The smaller the filter the more often you have to replace it. Small pores may also decrease water pressure. Sizing and the correct application of treatment systems is very important.
Does Your Water Smell, feel or Taste Bad?
You should know if there is an issue with hard water, iron/metals or pH levels as these problems can make the water taste, feel and smell bad. It can also make your water more corrosive. If you do notice a smell, excessive hardness, bad taste, or perforated pipes and rust, check your water chemistry report to see if it shows an excess of minerals or elements. Excessively hard water, iron and other metals and pH levels all indicate you need either a water softener, chemical treatment, or pH adjustment.
Chemistry Report Issues
Along with the above potential issues, your chemistry report can also tell you when your water contains highly harmful arsenic, dissolved solids, or trace organics. All of these contaminants call for either reverse osmosis, iron filtration, arsenic removal systems, and/or cleaning with activated carbon among other options.
Because treatment equipment is usually rated by the number of gallons your home uses a day, you should try to have an accurate estimate of how many gallons your family uses. This ensures everything is set up and run properly. For lower use, you might find installing an under-the-sink RO unit to provide ongoing water treatment is best for your household, but for more use, a whole house water treatment system is best.
If you would like more information on water well treatments, speak to our team today.