The Most Common Well Water Contaminants

May 1, 2020 11:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

People in rural areas across the country rely heavily on wells for their drinking water sources. Wells dig deep into underground aquifers (sources of fresh water) and pump that water into homes for use in cooking, cleaning and drinking. These aquifers are supplied by precipitation, as well as irrigation water for crops and landscaping, which seeps down through the water and rock below the earth’s surface. The water table level fluctuates based on rainfall patterns each year, as well as droughts and the amount of water being used in wells coming from a given aquifer.

Approximately 86 percent of the United States gets its water from municipal water systems, with the rest of the citizens getting their water from private wells. As the owner of a private well, it is important for you to not only make sure the well is properly installed and maintained, but also that you take the necessary steps to protect it from common groundwater contaminants in Monroe, NC that could harm the quality of your water.

What could contaminate my well water?

Contamination sources will vary from location to location. The risks in your area may be completely different than the risks well owners face in other parts of the country.

Here are a few examples of some of the most common potential contaminants to well water and the health risks associated with them:

  • Heavy metals: Heavy metals include substances like lead, copper, selenium, arsenic, chromium and more. These metals often contaminate drinking water through old, rusted pipes or runoff from industrial or mining operations. Outdated plumbing inside of homes could also be to blame, rather than any issues with the well itself.
  • Microbiological contaminants: Perhaps the most well-known microbiological contaminant is E. coli, which can occur naturally in the environment. It is often found in human and animal waste or in soil. If it affects water, some serious health effects could include dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera, polio and other diseases.
  • Fluoride: Fluoride is actually beneficial in controlled amounts, as it helps prevent tooth decay. In most cases, wells and municipal water systems will not have fluoride in levels above what is considered safe. The current standard is four milligrams per liter. However, excessive levels of fluoride in water can result in skeletal fluorosis or dental fluorosis.
  • Nitrates: Nitrates are compounds that can get into well water from runoff from septic systems, sewage, animal waste, fertilizers and industrial activity. Exposure to high levels of nitrates can result in methemoglobinemia, also commonly referred to as “blue baby syndrome,” in which the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen gets dangerously reduced.
  • Radionuclides: These substances are naturally occurring and found just about everywhere. Some, like uranium, radon and radium, are naturally found in the earth’s crust. Other sources might come from oil and gas facilities, coal facilities, mining operations, fertilizer production plants and nuclear power plants.

For more information about the common well water contaminants in Monroe, NC that could affect your well water, contact Love Well & Pump Supply, LLC today.

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