Many rural homes depend on well water systems as their primary water source. Whether you have recently moved to a rural area or have relied on well water for most of your life, you probably don't give much thought to your well until something goes wrong. Knowing basic well water system maintenance can help to extend the lifespan of your well and ensure that clean, safe water is being pumped into your home. Here are a few tips to be sure you are properly maintaining your well water system.

Proper Installation

First and most importantly, make sure your well water system has been properly constructed and installed. Check to ensure that the casing of the well has a cover made from concrete cover that rests about 12 inches above ground. The cover is used to prevent pests and contaminated surface water from entering the well, so it must be durable and properly placed. There must be at least 100 feet between the well and the drainage field for your septic system and a minimum of 50 feet from the septic tank itself. Finally, make sure that the ground surrounding the well is at a slope to prevent the water from pooling.

Test Well Water Annually

Without a doubt one of the most important tasks in the water system maintenance is regularly testing the water. Even if your well was constructed using the best materials and built to last for generations, you should still test the water regularly to ensure that it is safe to drink. Testing your well water helps to ensure that nitrates, bacteria, and other contaminates have not found their way into the water supply. Well water is typically tested annually, but it should be tested more often in certain situations, including:

  • There are unexplained illnesses in your family
  • There is a notable difference in the color, taste or odor of the water
  • Someone in your household is nursing or pregnant
  • Dangerous contaminants were found in neighboring wells
  • There is a fuel or chemical spill near the well
  • There was flooding near or in the well

Clear the Area

The area around well water systems should be kept clear and free from trees, shrubs and other rooting plants. Use caution when mowing and weed eating around the well; any damages to the walls can lead to sanitary issues and contamination. Make sure the area around the well is free from hazardous materials, such as fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil, and paint. Avoid piling leaves or snow around the base of the water well because it can cause structural damage.

Routine well water system maintenance may be time-consuming, but preventative maintenance is much less costly in the long run. If you do experience a problem with the structure of the well or the water, you should never try to service the well on your own. Always use qualified contractors that are experienced in well water systems. A qualified contractor will have the appropriate equipment and techniques to ensure the system is operating as it should and that the water supply is safe for consumption. For more information, contact companies like Golden Gate Well Drilling & Water Conditioning.

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