Why Do I Have Bacteria in My Well Water?

February 18, 2021 4:04 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Well water is potable most of the time, but sometimes, water testing services in Monroe, NC reveal the presence of bacteria. Once we find bacteria, your well must remain unused until we can remediate it—otherwise, you risk household illness. While this development is unsettling, you should at least know it’s possible, and many times it arises from factors that are out of your control. Here are five reasons we might find bacteria in your well water:

  • Poor well construction: If you or a previous owner decided to cut corners on well construction expenses, do not be surprised if your well water come up positive for bacteria. Common construction problems include buried well heads and bad-quality well caps, which eventually let dirt and bacteria into your water. Other shortcomings include weak materials that allow stormwater to flow into your well, or well covers that leak and let in all the rain from the latest storm.
  • Contamination: If you face a septic problem or other event that can contaminate your well, test the water immediately. You want to confirm your water remains unscathed following the incident. But failing septic systems are not the only culprits. Old activated carbon filters grow bacteria when you do not switch them out. Anytime you suspect contamination, test your well before the water makes your entire household sick.
  • Soil and aquifer problems: The soil surrounding your well also filters the water in it. However, it may not be adequate for this task due to unsettling or being the wrong type of soil. Wells built into bedrock attract bacteria from the soil above the rock due to disturbances during construction. Additional treatment may help, but sometimes you have to allow the situation to settle, and the soil starts filtering again.
  • Well repairs: Just as construction efforts unsettle soil and introduce bacteria, so can well repair. As you receive these upgrades, bacteria in the dirt or well pump or solids inside plumbing pipes have an opportunity to get into your well water. If you purchase a new pump or water heater, or upgrade your plumbing, flush the system first before assuming the water is safe. Sometimes, you need chlorine to ensure the water is safe to use. Heavy flushing works against bacteria—however, depending on the extent of contamination, it can take days or even months before your well is free of these pollutants.
  • Stormwater runoff: When you install a well, pick an experienced contractor to complete the job. Wells need access to water and clearance from stormwater runoff. An experienced well contractor knows how to set this up so you do not risk contamination. Runoff is not just water, but also any animal waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers it picks up on its way to your well. When you choose a place for your well, make sure you can divert runoff away from that spot.

Love Well & Pump Supply, LLC offers water testing services for wells in Monroe, NC. We recommend regularly testing your well water to ensure its safety for your household’s use. Contact us today to schedule a test.

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