Well...Well...Well....or better yet your Well maintained

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results


Well maintenance, a subject matter that impacts all those who rely on their supply of drinking water from privately owned and maintained wells. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets water quality standards enforced in its Safe Drinking Water Act that only applies to public water systems supplying water to 25 people or 15 service connections. Hence, private well owners have the sole responsibility for well maintenance and safety of the quality of their well water. This is often neglected, in most cases, after the local Health Department provides the initial usage approval.

Proper well maintenance begins with monthly visual inspection of the well cap (the cover on top of the well casing that protrudes from the ground). It is your first line of protection from well contamination. A well cap should be tightly sealed preventing liquids and insects from gaining access into the well and contaminating the water supply. Decaying bugs and bug droppings are a common source of coliform bacteria and a good indicator that a new vermin-proof well cap is required. Well castings should be landscaped to ensure rain water and pollutants drain away from and not into the well.

So you've stopped the little critters from getting in, now what? You do have control of what you allow to seep into your ground water (especially through a private septic field)...pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fuels and other pollutants, but little control over your neighbor's activities. Performing annual testing for coliform bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants is your next line of defense.

Minimal testing for E. coli and coliform bacteria is a must. A do-it-yourself kit costs approximately $50. A professional inspector's fee is about $75 to $150. Additional testing for chemical and other contaminants will cost extra for the lab work.

An immediate fix, Chlorination works best to kill your current level of bacteria, but is not a long term remedy. My next article will address the Chlorination process and long term water treatment programs.

This article is for informational proposes and subject to governmental/procedural changes. You should always consult with a professional when updating or modifying your home.     

Comments (3)

Susan Trombley
Trombley Real Estate - Wake Forest, NC
Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs
And lets all hope that the ground was not used for waste before the deveopler got a hold of it and turned it into a subdivision.
Aug 30, 2007 02:52 AM
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY
Wells, like septic systems, are a mystery to many homeowners and therefore often neglected. Thank you for this important advice.
Aug 30, 2007 04:06 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Mark, pls. view our Re/Max RELO message - http://actvra.in/4jHG

Aug 18, 2014 12:46 PM