Is my well water safe..

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Dunerunner, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I have a buddy up in Homer, AK who has had some turbidity issues with his well water. It started me thinking (as I am not on a well) what the routine for testing private well might be. I'm sure that in some of the lower 48 there are governmental organizations that mandate such periodic testing but in others, it seems that testing your well water falls upon the private owner. I snooped around the interweebs and found this blog an interesting read...

    Green Risks: Brownish or Dirty Well Water after the Earthquake
    sec_monkey and Motomom34 like this.
  2. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Most states provide water test kits. Mine does and a simple request will net you a couple sets.

    Here. Free Water Test Kit

    I had a problem one time and blamed it on turbidity when after testing I found rust that could only come from a deteriorating drop pipe.
    Replaced it with the then new screw together PVC in a timely manner so I would not be surprised.
    SB21, oldawg, sec_monkey and 4 others like this.
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Had mine tested about 5 years ago shortly after it was drilled. There's no state mandate here. You drinks the water and if you didn't get it tested first, you takes your chances. Mine met EPA standards for drinking water, although it was high in dissolved solids such as calcium, sodium and potassium (hard water).

    There's been no mining activity in the area and the well is 750 feet, with the pump resting at 580 feet. Not too much can go wrong from that deep unless there are abnormally high levels of naturally occurring toxins such as lead or arsenic. Even cow piss is pretty well filtered by the time it gets all the way down there.

    Only thing, and it's mentioned in the report, neighbors have noted it with their wells and so did I, is if you let the well sit for about 6 months or longer the water tends to smell like rotten egg. The reason for that is, and it happens in most country wells, the fact that there are certain bacteria (supposedly harmless, they just stink) that feed on the minerals in the water. Their by product is Sulphur Dioxide (rotten egg smell). About the only thing you can do is pump the well out, wait for it to refill and pump it out again. That flushes out the buildups of those bacteria.

    Lately I've been visiting frequently and making sure to use plenty of water when I do to keep it flushed out. Haven't had the problem for about three years.

    About a year ago I installed a sediment filter on the inlet to the storage tank, and an activated carbon filter on the outlet. The sediment filter started out white (filter housing is clear) but turned brown in fairly short order, which tells me that there is (was) still a fair amount of the "driller's mud" present, which is sediment stirred up from the drilling operation, even though the water appeared perfectly clear when run directly from a hose.

    Time to shut up.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I always had my water tested by a private company. They had a quick turn around for results and I had more confidence in them then the state.

    @Altoidfishfins I had one of those filters. Do you have a submersible? It may need to be raised.
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  5. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  6. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow


    @Altoidfishfins I had one of those filters. Do you have a submersible? It may need to be raised.[/QUOTE]

    Them Subs are NOT at the bottom , Them need head to work !
    So if a hole is 100' and the head is 40' then put the pump at the 90 foot depth giving a 30 foot head !!

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  7. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    When my sister was working as a pathology lab tech, she could get water tests done for free. Unfortunately, she is retired now. But my parents' property, where I have been residing, has both city water, and Dad's old well pump. He used the well water for his gardening after going on city water. But we drank that well water all through my early years. Only once, after a hurricane, did it get dirty. Dad poured bleach down it for a week, and we drank bottled water during that time. It cleared it up.
    If necessary, I can use the well, but I'd need to go out to the garage/workshop to get the water. It's no longer connected to the house.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ou r water is collected from the Steel Roof on the cabin... The Cannery Water System is tested monthly, when they are here... It has always passed with room to spare... However even with ALL that we filter, and UV Irradiate our potable water, just the same...
  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Here in New Hampshire, have to have water tested when property is sold, we test about ever 3 years, water has a lot of minerals and has to be processed to make it good for drinking and washing clothes and dishes. If I am going to sell food commercially from my greenhouse in any way other than a Farmer's market, it has to be tested monthly. Radon is a problem here in a lot of wells and the iron and manganese give it a weird taste and react with the chlorine when you wash your clothes and discolor the whites if you don't remove it. I inject chlorine at the pressure tank, let it set in two 250 gal tanks, then filter it thru a carbon filter, with back flushing and draining of solids on a timer. Get excellent water that way, but not cheap, and a standard "water softener" doesn't handle the problem. Use the shallow well for greenhouse as while it may be easier to pollute, it doesn't have the minerals or residual chlorine.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have been filtering my water well and city for 50 years.
    Assume nothing .
    Even our own well water was run through reverse osmosis just to be sure.
    On the system in my home now using city water I have a whole house filter primarily because it gets sand and sediment out of the water to begin with it saves the valves all over the house . I use secondary Britta filters on kitchen and bath room fixtures for taste and it pays off big. they require change regularly . the whole house filter does not do it all. but I have seen it's element collapse with in 2 months time.
    You have no idea how much junk you consume till you've been running filters a while. Once you see/taste for your self ,the filter is no longer a luxury but a necessity .
    So far as testing I have used swimming pool test kits and those for testing my fish tanks and stay on top of them that way.
    My fish and chickens are on the same water so if they start going belly up I will have to take more serious measures. but they are my canary in the mine shaft ,so to speak.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  11. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark On Hiatus Banned

    After filtering well water, I often use alkaline drops to make alkaline water that gained a lot of traction for all the health benefits it supposedly brings. Compared to regular drinking water, studies show that alkaline water is more hydrating to the body. In other words, your body’s cells can readily absorb alkaline water. It yields to a healthier digestive system and body as well as brighter and smoother skin.
  12. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Sounds like a sales pitch @Robert Clark. Other than advertising, how is your well water?
    SB21 likes this.
  13. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

    Still use the Clorox trick in these parts to kill off iron bacteria. Most wells here have it. A glass of clear water will turn brown in about 20 minutes. Nothing but a gallon of clorox every year or two, or an RO system, will take it out. The whole area used to have a sulphur smell before the municipal water system came into being. I use my well for everything but the washing machine, that is on city water so I can use enough to keep the account. I filter through a sand filter and a carbon filter on the way in, and like the water better than the city offerings. There is also less crap built up in the water heater than when using city water. If the average Joe could only see the crap in city water....
    SB21 likes this.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I would expect the government to tell us your well water isn't safe, drink city water or bottled.
    SB21 likes this.
  15. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

    Oh they have. If you have municipal water available, you are not allowed to use well water for anything but irrigation. The previous owner of my place allowed the connection, and once done cannot be undone. So I use a little to keep them happy.
    Dunerunner likes this.
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