What Causes Contamination in a Water Well?

October 16, 2017 10:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

For property owners whose homes are served by a private well, water contamination is a top concern. Proper well maintenance and regular well water testing in Monroe, NC are essential to ensure your water is clean and safe. If this testing shows contaminants, you may wonder how they got there. The truth is, water well contamination happens for a variety of reasons. The following are the most common:

  • Poor well construction: By far the most common reason for bacteria in the water, poor well construction tops the list of contamination culprits. If there is a lack of mounded backfill around the outside of the well casing, this can cause issues. There may also be insufficient casing height above the ground level, or an inadequate well cover. Holes or unsealed joints in the sidewall or well casing are also common issues with poorly constructed wells. If it’s not built well to begin with, it should be no surprise that a system allows contaminants to enter the water supply over time.
  • Replacements and repairs: Any time a well is newly installed, there is a good chance that bacteria will enter the system at its onset. The situation is similar if a submersible pump is taken out and re-submerged, or if work is done to the plumbing system. These actions often allow bacteria to adhere to the pump, discharge line or cables. Usually, flushing the system properly after work has been completed will clean it of bacteria. The amount of flushing required depends on the level of contamination.
  • Lack of filtration: It’s possible for bacteria to move through soil or bedrock and reach your water well. Most bacteria are usually filtered from the groundwater as it moves through the soil. However, physical damage to the land can cause a lack of filtration. Potential causes include road construction, swimming pool or house foundation excavations and abandoned, uncapped wells. If the conditions are right, bacteria can move through soil or bedrock fractures over significant distances.
  • Natural bacterial growth: Water well services in Monroe, NC often use sand or other materials to filter bacteria from the water. While it can effectively clean the water, these filters also provide an inviting home for bacteria to grow. If the filter is not properly cleaned or is damaged, this bacteria host can release quantities of bacteria into the system.
  • Testing error: It is possible for a positive bacterial result to be inaccurate. If an error is made during well water testing in Monroe, NC, the results may show a false positive. This can happen if the sample is taken from a dirty faucet or if the sample is put into a dirty container. Proper protocols must be followed to ensure the results are accurate.

If your property is supplied by water well services in Monroe, NC, take the proper precautions to ensure your supply is safe. Ask a professional to conduct regular well water testing in Monroe, NC. If you experience any of the above issues, a professional can advise you on the next steps to take to restore your system to healthy operation.

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