“Hard water” refers to a condition in which high levels of magnesium and calcium are dissolved in the water. Symptoms include washed clothes with a rough feel, scale buildup on faucets, dry skin, and lower water pressure. Although not considered a health hazard, iron may also be dissolved in well water, causing appliance stains. To minimize hard water problems, add a salt-free water softener to your filtration system.
A water’s pH level is a measure of its acidity. A level of 7 is considered optimal for pure drinking water. If you are experiencing blue-green or rust-colored stains in sinks and tubs or tap water with a metallic taste, the pH level of your water may be too low. This condition that may be caused by acid rain, mining runoffs, or plant decomposition. Acidic water can corrode lead from old plumbing, a serious hazard, especially for children. To raise the pH to an acceptable level, consider installing an acid neutralizing filter or injecting soda ash into the well.
The chemical fluoride naturally occurs in water. Levels above 0.7 mg/liter can stain teeth. If well testing reveals excessive high levels of fluoride in your water, a reverse osmosis filtering system (i.e. a process by which contaminates are removed by a semi-permeable membrane) can reduce fluoride in the water.
If your water smells like rotten eggs or stains are appearing on clothes and bathroom fixtures, you may have a problem with hydrogen sulfide, a flammable gas created by the decomposition of organic matter. The gas can erode hot water heaters and accumulate in pockets causing a potential fire hazard. A “Greensand” filter (i.e. one using a silica sand core) or automatic chlorination can reduce hydrogen sulfide levels.
Runoff and drilling can lead to high levels of turbidity, a condition in which water appears cloudy or dirty due to suspended sediment. In cases in which these sediments include microorganisms, bacterial and viral infections can result. Adding a sediment filter to your water filtration system can reduce this condition.
A well contaminated with animal or human waste, due to cracks in well walls and overflowing septic tanks, can lead to human gastrointestinal illness. To disinfect your water, periodic chlorine shocking and the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) treatment component to your main water line are recommended.
Salt applied to winter roads can contaminate well water. As the salt dissolves into the melting snow and ice, it flows into streams, lakes and, eventually, into the ground water. Experts suggest that the most practical solution to salty well water is to install a new well uphill, away from the drainage.
Methane, a flammable odorless gas, can be carried along with water into wells. While in some areas, methane dissipates as soon as a well is constructed; other homeowners experience an ongoing struggle to protect themselves from possible gas explosions. An essential precaution is to vent the well head to the open air, preventing methane from accumulating in dangerous pockets. Other venting may also be needed around pump enclosures, pressure tanks, and basements. Never build a home over a well.
Leaks of oil and gasoline from underground fuel tanks or nearby service stations can contaminate the well water of homes in the immediate vicinity. While reducing the pumping speed can allow the oil to float to the surface of the water above the well’s intake area, the safest course is to dig a new well.
As more and more farm land is developed into residential properties, homeowners in those areas may find that their wells are contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides. Compounding the problem is the fact that too little is known about the degree of hazard these chemicals pose to humans, how long these chemicals take to seep into the soil, and how long they take to decompose. Discussing rural water quality questions with governmental regulatory offices is a recommended first step.
If you are experiencing reduced water supply from your well, the most likely cause is a drop in the water table to a level too low for the pump’s intake to reach. In this case, excavating the well deeper will allow access to the new water level. If this is not possible, a new well will be needed. Another cause of reduced water intake may be a partial clog in the strainer that cover the bottom of the pump. Clearing that obstacle may return the water flow to a satisfactory level.
If you have reduced or no water pressure, you may also have a bad water pump. To research the problem, make sure the pump’s circuit breaker is in the “on” position and check the pressure gauge. If the pressure is below 20 psi, you may need to service the pump, pressure tank, or switch.
A well’s performance may be affected by the previous use of a property which may be unknown to the current property owner. The presence of former chemical dump sites, abandoned wells, or oil and gas drilling will have a long-lasting effect on underlying aquifers. Experts suggest that you visit your local land planning authorities to get all the facts.
A clean, safe water supply that tastes good can dramatically affect your quality of life for the better. At Triad Drillers, Inc., we know how important your water well is and are here to answer all of your well drilling questions and service needs. You can count on us for the proper installation of a well pump, casing, pressure tank and supply lines that are perfectly sized and designed to last!