Private well? Remember to test your water!
David Casaletto, President, Ozarks Water Watch
I am a member of the wellcare®
Well Owners Network
. It is a national network that provides consumers served by private water wells with free education and information regarding the proper construction, regular well water testing, and maintenance of water wells and septic systems to ensure safe drinking water.
Well owners have access to a toll free hotline to ask questions on any topic related to wells and well water care, testing and maintenance. You can also sign up online for a free membership in the wellcare® Well Owners Network to receive quarterly newsletters with tips and tools on caring for water well systems, septic systems and well water. Discounts on water test kits are also available.
This month, the Well Owners Network is reminding homeowners to test their well water to ensure it is safe. Homeowners with private wells are solely responsible for the quality of their drinking water, so it is up to them to decide when and how to test their water.
At a minimum, well water should be tested every year for bacteria, anything of local concern or any contaminants that you are monitoring from previous test results.
Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:
- Someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
- There are unexplained illnesses in the family
- Your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
- You note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
- There is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
If you have a situation that is mentioned above, follow comprehensive testing recommendations or call the wellcare® Hotline at 888-395-1033 for assistance on what to test for.
You will need to collect water samples for the laboratory you choose to test your water. The laboratory usually provides specific sampling instructions and clean bottles in which to collect the water sample. Do not rinse lab containers or fill them to overflowing. Check to see if the sample must be refrigerated or treated with special chemicals.
Again, carefully follow the instructions provided by the laboratory. A carelessly collected sample can give you inaccurate results. If needed, the wellcare® Well Owners Network can help you find a certified lab in your area.