More than 15 million homes in the United States have a private well providing their water. These are homes in rural settings, and out in the country. Living in the country, where there’s less traffic, less congestion, and more peace can be great, but with a private well, you are solely responsible for the safety of your water because it is coming straight out of the ground and into your house. What you may not know is that the quality of the groundwater changes all the time. Weather, different crops in the fields, and other environmental changes will affect your water too. This means you will need to get your water tested annually to make sure no new contaminants have found their way into your water supply. What things does a water test look for, and how do you fix them if there are problems?
What Does a Water Test Look For?
There are a variety of different water tests available that will look for many things with your water. The most common concerns people have with well water that you should be testing for are:
- Coliform bacteria. This is an indicator that your well may have a crack in the casing or your well cap is not properly sealed. The biggest sign that you may have a bacteria problem is if you feel sick after drinking your well water, because the e. coli bacteria upsets our digestive systems to cause nausea or diarrhea. A bacteria test is a specialized water test that needs to be performed in a lab and the results will let you know just how high of a concentration of bacteria you have. If your water test from your private well shows coliform or other bacteria in your water, the entire well will need to be disinfected using chlorine (a.k.a shocking the well) and any water will need to be boiled before being used. It is also important to inspect the well after it’s been treated to make sure any openings are properly sealed so that it doesn’t have bacteria growth again in the future.
- Nitrates. These compounds are often found in areas that have a large agriculture population. Nitrates enter the ground through commonly used fertilizers and end up in your water supply. It’s hard to tell if you have nitrates in your water without doing a water test because they can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted. For most healthy adults, there isn’t a problem drinking water that has nitrates in them but be very careful giving water with nitrates to small children. Even pregnant women should avoid drinking nitrate water because the bodies of babies under 6 months old can’t process it and can end up not being able to breathe. To get rid of nitrates, you must use a certified drinking water filter to remove the substance. Our WaterCare UltroWater reverse osmosis systems are a convenient, low-cost way of ensuring that any nitrates in your water would be reduced.
- pH level. Depending on where you live in the United States, your water may be naturally acidic. When water has a low pH level and is considered an acid, it will corrode everything it touches very quickly. It will eat away at your plumbing and fixtures until it’s thin and frail enough to cause leaks in your pipes. We have an acid neutralizing filter that would help balance your water’s pH level back to its neutral state and protect your home from this excess damage.
- Iron. Iron is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in the ground and may be more prevalent in certain areas of the country than others. It can be traveling in your water in two different states, either dissolved or as a particle. If iron is dissolved in your water, it’ll actually be clear so you can’t see it. But as soon as the water evaporates, it will leave the telltale rust-colored stains on your sink and showers that the iron particles leave behind. Our advanced WaterCare line has a variety of different iron filters available to fit the exact type of iron you might be dealing with from your well.
- Manganese. This contaminant works a lot like iron and can be often found in the same areas that have high concentrations of iron. Manganese can be dissolved in your water and leave behind brown stains throughout your home, usually much darker than the orange/rust colors of iron. It would also need to be filtered out of the water as it enters your home in order to remove the issue.
- Calcium and Magnesium. These two elements are very similar and can be found in most areas of the U.S. Calcium and magnesium are commonly called water “hardness.” If you water is hard, it has a large amount of these minerals in it. Hardness causes limescale buildup on your fixtures and inside your appliances, while also drying out your hair and skin. A water softener is what is used to reduce calcium and magnesium. It uses a special process to draw out the minerals from the water like a magnet, and then using a salt water from the brine tank, it flushes those minerals out so the water softener can continue to collect more.
The water in every well is going to be different, even wells that are close together. What can you do if your well test shows a variety of things that need to be corrected in your water?
Crystal-Right is a man-made zeolite, produced outdoors at our Mineral-Right® (link to mineral-right.com) facility located in Kansas. This unique filtration media is an ideal solution for many homes with well water. Crystal-Right has the ability to address multiple well water concerns. These concerns include:
- Removes iron and manganese
- Reduces calcium and magnesium (softens water)
- Neutralizes pH levels of acidic water
This means that instead of having a water softener, an iron filter, and an acid neutralizer, Crystal-Right can get the job done with just one system! We proudly offer this unique solution as part of our TotalCare® line of products.
Are you concerned about your water? Or is time for your annual water test on your well water? Give us a call! One of our trained WaterCare technicians will come out to test your water. We’ll give you the results and find a solution for all your water issues with our complete line-up of WaterCare water treatment systems.