Protecting Your Groundwater Supply

Before learning how to protect your groundwater supply, you need to know why groundwater sources are so important. Groundwater is the only source for private wells. Groundwater provides fresh water for drinking, household use, farming and major industry. The United States has the largest well water market in the world. As one of the 15.9 million well water users, protecting your source and all its uses is extremely important.

What should you do to ensure the safety of your water? First, you should make periodic inspections of your well. Look for cracked or corroded casings, missing or broken well caps, protective casing damage, cracking and or settling of surface seals. The area of your well should be sloped so that it is above the level of water runoff. This will minimize contamination. If you are selecting a location for a new well, look for a place where there is low contamination. Keep the well away from animal pens, areas of manure, chemical storage areas, waste piles, sewers, lagoons, fertilizers, petroleum products and underground storage tanks. If you have well, be careful to store pollutants below the well level.

You should disinfect the water well at least once a year using bleach or hypochlorite granules. Also, testing your well water for contaminants should be done at least once a year. A certified laboratory will test your water sample and provide an analysis of your drinking water for fees ranging from $25-$200 depending on your desired level of analysis. Keep accurate records of well maintenance, disinfections and any chemical treatments done at the well. Remember to always use licensed professionals for drilling, pump installation and cleaning services. Protect your well and it will provide you with many years of service.

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