The problems you may run into if you have a well and options for treating them
- Hard Water
The element Iron is associated with many good things, such as iron supplements, iron structures, and the superhero Iron Man. However, Iron water doesn’t sound very appealing. Having hard water affects 85 percent of the U.S population that has a well. Hard water drains color from clothes and gives them a rough texture. It affects your body by drying out your skin and causing flakey hair. It’s also hard on your plumbing system as the mineral accumulation clogs pipes and leaves stains on sinks and bathtubs. To get your clothes, body, and pipes back on track, install a water softener system. A more eco-friendlier option to a water softener is a salt-free water softener system, which removes all radium and barium from the water as well.
If animal manure, agricultural fertilizers, and decomposing plants are in the vicinity of your well, it can lead to a high concentration of Nitrate in your water. Nitrate is also seen frequently in areas with shallow sand and gravel aquifers. Nitrate is tasteless, colorless, and odorless, so to determine if it’s in your well water, a test will need to be performed. It also has some very negative health effects, especially in infants; don’t ignore Nitrate! Boiling your water does not treat it, in fact, boiling will actually concentrate the nitrate even more. It’s possible a deeper well will have to be constructed depending on the level of Nitrate concentration found.
Bacteria is the cause of numerous diseases, and unfortunately it is commonly found in well water. If your water has a fishy or earthy taste, that’s a red flag for bacteria. It is usually present if you find slime build up in the toilet tank. To kill the bacteria, a chlorine treatment will have to go through the well system.
No, your water hasn’t taken a recent tropical vacation. That tan color isn’t from the sun and isn’t a good thing. If your well water has a yellow or brownish tint to it, that’s an indication of Tannins. The color is caused by teeny-tiny pieces of organic material floating in the water. This happens when decomposing vegetation gets into your water supply. First, remove any visible decomposing vegetation from the head of the well. Secondly, install a water purification system to get your drinking water back to clear.
- Sulfide and Methane Gases
When you go take a drink of water you never expect to also be taking a big gulp of gas. Another problem with well water is the presence of Sulfur and Methane gases. Both gases occur naturally underground. Methane is colorless and odorless while Sulfide smells distinctly of rotten eggs. These dissolved gases are rough on plumbing systems as the pipes will start to hammer and spit out gas when the faucet is turned on. The solution to getting rid of these gases lies in putting a little extra love into your water heater.
Turn your well water woes into water wows!
Protect your water
- Keep the top of the well at least 1 foot above the ground.
- Redirect water runoff from roads, driveways, and roofs away from the well.
- Keep hazardous materials and potential pollutants away.
Protect your well
- Inspect well cap for cracks, corrosion, loose wires settling, or other case damages.
- Be careful not to bump the well with lawn mowers, snowplows, or other equipment.
- Do not pile snow, leaves, or other materials around well.
- Limit fertilizer and pesticide use in the vicinity of the well.