Regardless of where you live, well water contamination is a significant issue that can lead to the destruction of your entire water supply and cause serious health problems that can even lead to fatalities.
However, professional water well installation and maintenance companies servicing the Phoenix Valley and Arizona have follow several guidelines that can significantly reduce the potential for well water contamination.
Noted below are a few of the best ways to keep your water well supply protected from chemicals or other debris entering the well and causing a potentially horrible situation.
Pick a Good Site for the Well
Most underground water sources or aquifers are incredibly large; in most cases larger in diameter than the entire property.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for multiple homes or properties to access the same underground water source.
With this in mind, the most important thing you should consider first is where to dig the access hole for your residential water well system.
Most professional well water testing contractors suggest placing a water well’s access point away from areas that could possibly contaminate the water supply. Areas to avoid include:
- Near garages or storage areas of the home
- Anywhere chemicals or fertilizers are used
- Near canals, streams, ponds, or lakes
- Within one hundred feet of septic systems
- Near livestock feeding/watering areas
This reduces the potential of dangerous chemicals, bacteria, or contaminants from entering the ground water supply below.
In cases where well water is contaminated by outside sources, the well is usually capped because such problems are hard to resolve.
Proper Well Design & Construction
Once a site is chosen, having a well professionally designed and constructed is just as important.
Most water well contamination problems occur due to seepage or when chemicals penetrate the protective cap or covering of the water well access hole.
A professional contractor knows how to create caps that are extremely strong and can stand up to the harsh weather environments in Arizona.
Well Casing Height and Depth
Typically made of plastic or steel, the well casing is a pipe that lines the hole that has been dug for the well. It keeps the earth around the hole from caving in and protects the well from surrounding runoff and debris.
The depth of the casing can help prevent well contamination.
According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the casing should be at least twenty feet long but it can be longer.
Well professionals should use nearby wells and the local geology to figure out how deep to go.
Also, the casing should extend at least one foot above the ground surface and be topped with a watertight wellhead seal or cap.
Well Screens & Filter Packs
When you’re having new water wells built, another way to reduce the potential for water contamination is the use of well screens and filter packs.
The well screens are typically located at the bottom of the water well pipe near the submersible pump and are designed to filter out sediment from entering the water that flows upward.
Filter packs can be located throughout the water well supply chain, removing harmful particles.
This improves overall water quality and can reduce the build-up of hard water issues like calcium that we have in the Southwestern U.S.
Well Cap and Grout Seals
Two key components missing from many private wells are a sanitary well cap and a grout seal.
These are required by most states because they help protect groundwater by sealing the well from potential surface contamination.
Using well seals that are certified and recommended for Arizona’s harsh weather is also important.
Always Have Water Well Testing Completed Annually
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the EPA recommend that residents who own private water wells hire well water testing contractors to complete an inspection and testing of the water supply at least once per year.
During these annual tests, they will complete sampling to verify your water supply does not contain harmful bacteria, chemicals, or other contaminants that can lead to significant illness.
Professional water testing companies can work with you to create a maintenance and service plan that will keep your well and precious water supply fresh, clean, and safe for years.
Tips for Homeowners
The points above should be followed by an experienced, trustworthy well drilling company in Arizona, but you as a homeowner have an important part to play as well. Here are some guidelines you can follow to avoid contaminating your well:
- Check your well’s above-ground components regularly for cracks, corrosion, or other damage that might compromise the well and its sanitary seal.
- Make sure the concrete pad surrounding the well casing is in good shape and is sloping so water drains away from the casing.
- Do not cut the well casing down.
- Avoid mixing or pouring fertilizers, fuel, degreasers, or other harmful pollutants anywhere near your well.
- If you have an unused well, don’t pour anything into it.
- If you have a septic system, make sure it is routinely maintained. Never pour pollutants into it.
Using the tips above, you can ensure that you are keeping your water supply as safe and contaminant-free as possible.
That, along with regular maintenance and annual water testing done by a well water professional, can help keep you, your family, and your animals healthy and safe.
Do you need to have your residential water well inspected? Call Pump It Up Pump Services, Inc. and let one of our professionals answer your water well questions. Call 623-582-5069 now!