Nine Compelling Reasons Why You Need Well Water Treatment

It's easy to forget about purifying your well water. Here's why you need to be up-to-date on well-water treatment.

Darrell Smith
Nine Reasons for Well Water Treatment Nine Reasons for Well Water Treatment

In the United States, 42 million people get their water from wells.

While many people think of wells as something used primarily in the Midwest and Western United States, that's not the case. Wells are common in every state.

If you're one of those 42 million people, it's critical that you have your well water tested and properly treated to ensure your family’s health and wellbeing.

Well Water vs. City Water

Many wells are so old that they weren’t correctly built, which puts them at a higher risk for contamination. However, even correctly dug or drilled wells provide water that's potentially far more dangerous than public drinking water.

The big reason for this is the extensive water filtration and treatment that public drinking water undergoes. Wells, on the other hand, are unregulated and untreated, which makes them far more susceptible to contamination and disease.

Nine Great Reasons for Well Water Treatment

1. E. Coli Lives Everywhere

Most strains of the bacterial called Escherichia coli or E. coli live in our intestines and are harmless. However, certain strains can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and even kidney failure. When there's an E. coli outbreak, it makes national news.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that E. coli can occur naturally in soil. Also, it can live in both human and animal feces. If there are a lot of animals where you live, E. coli could seep into your well water, so treating that water is essential.

2. Shigella Is a Danger

Shigella is an infectious bacteria that can cause dysentery and other waterborne illnesses.

Wells are considered to be more vulnerable to shigella than public drinking water because the bacteria can be transported into a well via stormwater runoff. Standing water of any kind should be kept away from your well.

The best time to test for shigella is after periods of heavy rain or flash flooding.

3. Enteroviruses Are Tiny and Common

It's not just bacteria you should worry about. Well water treatment is also vital because of enteroviruses. Spread through fecal matter, these tiny viruses are the cause of illnesses such as polio.

Enteroviruses are so small, they can slip through some point-of-use filters with ease. Strenuous disinfection of your well water may be required if these viruses are present.

Even after you disinfect your well, remember to get the water tested because enteroviruses are hardy and difficult to destroy.

4. Lead Contaminates More Water Than You Think

One of the worst contaminants you can get in your well water is lead because you can’t disinfect it or boil it away. However, you can filter it out. A filtering method called reverse osmosis is an excellent lead remover.

If you do discover or suspect lead in your drinking water, you should, of course, filter it out, but it's also a good idea to identify the source. There are professionals who can help with this.

If you can’t remove the source of the lead, you will need to take further steps. Contact your local health department if you believe you have been exposed to lead contamination.

5. Sewage Overflows and Septic Issues

Sewage overflows that cause fecal matter to infiltrate your well water can happen without you even being aware. Stormwater surges, failures at pump stations, and downed power lines can all lead to sewage overflows.

Septic tanks are even more prone to failure. You can limit your risk to a certain extent by ensuring no septic or sewage system is close to your well. If this isn't possible, get your well water tested immediately.

6. Radioactive Elements Can Contaminate Wells

Although they're not common, radioactive elements such as uranium can be found in the ground throughout the Earth’s crust.

Well water treatment using advanced filtration methods is essential to remove these contaminants. If radioactive elements are present in your untreated well water, prolonged exposure could lead to cancer.

7. Agricultural Runoff Is Full of Chemicals

If your well is close to land used for farming, you need to be careful. Water wells are replenished by water seeping through the ground and into the aquifers below.

Most agricultural runoff is full of pesticides and fertilizer, which can cause sickness and even organ damage if high enough amounts of the chemicals are in your well water for a long enough time.

8. High Levels of Nitrates Can Be Harmful

Nitrates are naturally-occurring compounds usually found at levels far below what is deemed to be unhealthy. However, improperly built wells can collect nitrates over a long period of time, resulting in high nitrate levels.

Most dangerous to pregnant women and small children, nitrates can cause a whole variety of health issues. Nitrates can come from food-processing waste as well.

9. Improving the Taste of Your Water

Treated water tastes cleaner because even harmless contaminants can alter the flavor. When water tastes foul, people are far less likely to drink enough. It can also change the flavor of food. Boiling untreated water can also generate odor.

The cleaner your water, the better it will taste. Combining treatment with filtering is the best way to ensure clean, safe, delicious water.

Treatment Methods

The most common way to treat a drinking well is shock chlorination. This method of treatment destroys the microbes and bacteria that live in water, and if done correctly, will make your water safe to drink.

However, it's highly recommended that you hire a professional to perform this treatment. If done improperly, stock chlorination can render the water in your well totally undrinkable.

There are also methods of filtration for your well water that can remove contaminants that a treatment might miss.

Please Treat Your Well Water

Not to overstate things, but well-water treatment can make the difference between life or death — or at least between healthy and unhealthy living.

For your family's sake, we strongly encourage you to have your well water properly tested and treated.

For more info about water and water treatment, contact us today at WaterZen.

In this post: well water, well water treatment
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