Ground water is comprise of the accumulation of rainwater that filters down through soil, sediments and bedrock to pool beneath the Earth's surface. Nearly 98% of the available fresh water on Earth is ground water. The U.S. uses almost 83.3 billion gallons of ground water daily.
Do you need to disinfect?
Ground water is not 100% pure clean water. Ground water always contains some dissolved minerals providing nutrients for life forms or naturally occurring microorganisms in the ground water.
National Ground Water Association (NGWA) describes most waterborne microbes as harmless and many can be beneficial. Some, however, are pathogenic. Bacteria, such as E. coli, can cause disease and death. Infection with E. coli, for example, can result in stomach discomfort, diarrhea, serious illness and even death.
These pathogen bacteria can enter the ground water through many points of contamination such as septic tank overflow or through contaminated runoff from woodlands, pastures and feedlots. Routine periodic testing of private well water and disinfection are a crucial element to maintaining a safe private well water supply.
Should I be testing for bacteria?
NGWA recommends private well owners have their well water tested at least once every year and also after flooding events. There are several "do-it-yourself" test kits available at very affordable prices. NGWA recommends test kits that are simple to use with no mail-in requirements.
What are the flood and snowmelt risks?
Flood conditions and snow and ice melt can cause well water to be particularly vulnerable to bacteria contamination allowing contaminated water to flow into the well.
Under normal circumstances, rain, snow, and ice water trickles gradually into the ground through the tiny spaces between grains of sediment resulting in the natural filtration of ground water. Bacteria are separated out of the water by the filtration process. When flooding occurs, natural filtration is bypassed and wells may be contaminated rapidly. Shallow wells are at greater risk for contamination than deep wells during floods. According to the EPA, wells that are more than 10 years old or less than 50 feet deep are most likely to be contaminated following a flood, even if there is no visible damage.
How can you disinfect your well?
If contamination is identified in private well water, immediate disinfection is required. This job can is most often done by ground water professionals. Homeowners can find more information from state and local health departments and government agencies. The most commonly used well water disinfectants are sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) and calcium hypochlorite (chlorinated swimming pool disinfectant) but ultraviolet disinfection is becoming increasing more popular to reduce exposure to chlorine.
Before disinfecting a well it is important to determine that the well is located and constructed such that it is protected from contamination sources.
Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection
UV Treatment is growing in popularity in the United States and has been a standard method of disinfection for decades across the globe. The technology is based on using ultraviolet light that penetrates and destroys the bacteria. With a very low amount of maintenance, UV can be used to treat the whole house or at the point of use.
The benefit of using UV disinfection is that it will not add any taste or odor to your water supply, and will not create disinfection chlorine chemical by-products. It will also disinfect a broader range of waterborne pathogens than chlorine (such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which are chlorine-resistant microbes and very difficult to treat). Treating your water 24/7 also provides a peace of mind that your water is protected at all times.
Call Colorado Springs Home Services at 719-722-3252 or visit our website at http://www.cspringshomeservices.com to schedule your private well inspection and disinfection service today.