Safe Drinking Water is Essential for Good Health
When you use water from the faucet, you assume that the water is safe. Safe for drinking. Safe for cleaning. Safe for bathing. Public health activities assure that the water you utilize in cities is safe. For those with private water wells, it is up to you to assure that the water you consume is safe.
Proper well construction and continued maintenance are keys to the safety of your water supply. The well should be located so rainwater flows away from it. Rainwater can pick up harmful bacteria and chemicals on the land’s surface. If this water pools near your well, it can seep into it and potentially cause health problems.
To keep your well safe, be aware if any possible sources of contamination are nearby. Possible sources of contamination could be:
- Flood water from heavy rains
- Septic tanks
- Livestock yards, silos,septic leach fields
- Petroleum tanks, liquid-tight manure storage, and fertilizer storeage and handling.
- Manure stacks
The following are tips from the EPA for keeping your well safe.
- Maintain your well, find problems early, and correct them to protect your well’s performance. Many homeowners tend to forget the value of good maintenance until problems reach crisis levels. This can be expensive.
- Keep up-to-date records of well installation and repairs, plus pumping and water tests. Such records can help you spot changes and possible problems with your water system. If you have problems, find a local expert to check your well construction and maintenance records.
- Protect your own well area. Be careful about storage and disposal of household and lawn care chemicals and wastes. Best-practice farmers and gardeners minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Take steps to reduce erosion and prevent surface water runoff.
- Regularly check underground storage tanks that hold home heating oil, diesel, or gasoline.
- Make sure your well is protected from the wastes of livestock, pets, and wildlife.
The United State Enviromental Protection Agency fact sheet "What to Do After a Flood",