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Tips from the National Ground Water Association for Maintaining Your Well

1. Leave it to the professionals!

Often times when well owners try to service their own wells they usually fail to solve the problem or make the problem worse. Professionals have the equipment, materials, and techniques to keep your system operational and your water safe.

2. Preventive maintenance costs less in the long-run

The NGWA conducted a poll among well owners and confirmed that 80% of those who responded had never had a well-maintenance inspection done. When this happens, seemingly minor problems can quickly turn into larger, more costly problems. Just food for thought, you look at the labels of the food you eat to make sure they’re healthy for your family, why not do the same with your well?

3. Do your homework and know what a well maintenance check-up includes

It should include four (4) components:

  • A flow test to determine the system’s output. There should

be a check of the water level before and during pumping, pump motor performance, pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality.

  • Inspection of all well equipment to assure that it is sanitary and meets code requirements.

  • Test your water for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and anything else of local concern.

  • A written report should be given to you after the check-up explaining all results, including all laboratory testing, and any recommendations.

4. Understand the problem

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Knowing how your system works can help you understand the problem at hand and what is required to remedy it.

5. Find old wells

Scan your property for any old, unused wells. Abandoned wells can provide a direct path for contaminants into the water supply. Often these old wells will have broken caps or no caps at all, allowing insects, rodents, harmful objects/substances, or even contaminated surface water to enter.

6. Before getting your water tested, check to see if your well system is clean

Testing water from a dirty well can cause false-positives, making the water appear to be contaminated even when the groundwater is perfectly fine. A qualified water well systems contractor can determine if your system needs to be cleaned by testing for coliform bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, and others. Some other indicators of a dirty well may be low flow, cloudy water, bad taste, or odor problems. The NGWA recommends having your well system cleaned by trained professionals before you have the well system serviced.

The NGWA recommends that well owners get their water tested:

  • Annually for bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and any contaminants of local concern.

  • Whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance of water.

  • Family members have recurrent gastrointestinal illnesses

  • If an infant is living in the home

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