One hundred years from now, history books and museums may tell the tale of water-pumping wells. Today, an estimated 15 million US households, or 60 million people, rely on private wells for their main source of water. With 15 percent of the US population using wells, it’s important to know not only how they work, but also, what the quality of the water is that wells supply.
Private wells pump groundwater to the surface for a plethora of purposes. People pump well water into their home for hydration, cooking, cleaning, showering, and to run appliances. The majority of this water is used for agriculture; specifically irrigating crops, and a smaller percentage for feeding livestock. Wells are most typically found in rural areas on private plots of land, and are not regulated by the EPA.
The contaminants affecting the water supply depend largely on geographic location and the prevalent industries surrounding the well. Mining and construction can release heavy metals into the ground, resulting in arsenic in the groundwater, which can cause cancer after long-term exposure. Nitrates and bacteria are released into the water through septic tanks and factory farms, which both contain large amounts of human and animal waste. People with weak immune systems, including infants, the elderly and AIDS-afflicted individuals are especially vulnerable to nitrate and bacteria contaminants. Pesticides, fertilizers, household waste like cleaning products and used motor oil, and industrial discharges are also a potential threat to the water that comes from private wells.
It is important to test your well water periodically because unlike water that goes through a municipal source, no one is ensuring the quality and safety of your water. Each state has different requirements, so check with local agencies for the proper testing procedures. If and when you notice a difference in taste, odor and/or color, be sure to test your water and determine the best course of action to maintain quality, drinkable water. If your water has been deemed safe to drink and you’re still not happy with the taste and odor, consider a Zuvo Water Filtration System, as it offers a pure, clean glass of water, every time.