If you have a water well on your property or are planning to have one installed, it's crucial that you pay special attention to well safety. You don't want your family drinking unsafe water or have the well become a hazard. The following article takes a closer look at some key considerations concerning water well safety.
If you are planning the design of your well, then picking a good location is a key safety element. For example, avoid placing a well close to a river or lake stream. These bodies of water might have contaminants that could get into your family's drinking water. Make certain that the well site is at least 15 meters, or approximately 50 feet, away from any body of water.
The site should not be on low-lying land or any area that is subject to floods. You don't want surface water from rains or flood waters getting into the well, as they can contaminate it. If you have a septic system on your property, the well should be a safe distance from both your septic tank and the drainage. Check with your local health department to determine the minimum setback distance required by law. The distance can vary depending on your jurisdiction, although 50 to 100 feet is typical.
Another safety point regarding site selection is to avoid locations that are near utility wires or cables. This includes underground cables, so call your local utility to determine where the utility lines on your property have been placed.
Inspecting your well on a regular basis is a critical factor in maintaining a safe supply of drinking water. Check the well at least once a year to ensure all its mechanical components, such as the cap and casing, are free of any defects. Have the well tested at least annually for contaminants or pollutants, such as bacteria. In addition to the annual inspection, perform an inspection for contaminants any time you notice that the water looks cloudy, or smells or tastes strange. Also, test the water for problems if any of your family develops a digestive system illness.
Wells have a limited lifespan. At some point, your water well may stop providing enough high-quality drinking water for you and your family. When this happens, it's crucial that the well is sealed. If it's left open, it may be a safety hazard to young children. In some cases, a small animal could fall into the unused well, which could possibly contaminate other water wells in the area. The job must be done only by a qualified professional.
For more information on water wells, consider contacting companies like Mayer's Well Drilling.