Monthly Archives: January 2019

What if Your Water Well Tests Positive for Coliform Bacteria?

So, you had your annual water well test, and the results revealed contamination from coliform bacteria. What are you supposed to do now? Is your family going to get seriously sick from drinking the well water?

First of all, don’t panic – most strains of coliform bacteria are harmless to humans. Some can create mild stomach upset and general flu-like symptoms, but only a few strains cause serious illness or disease. Therefore, while you should stop drinking the well water until you know more, the positive test doesn’t mean your family is doomed.

In many cases, experienced water well contractors – like the Z-Team here at Mike Zimmerman Well Services – can resolve bacterial contamination problems.

Dealing with coliform bacterial in your water well

Old brick wishing well in colorful dahlia garden

Water Well Inspection and System Maintenance

After repeating the coliform bacteria test to confirm the results and a follow-up E. coli test to determine the extent of the bacterial threat, a professional contractor will perform a thorough inspection of your entire water well system and complete any necessary maintenance. This may include:

  • Extending the well casing above the ground
  • Sloping the ground away from the well casing
  • Installing a new sanitary well cap
  • Repairing cracks or holes in the well pipes
  • Making sure the storage tank is watertight

If the E. coli bacteria is present, a professional contractor will also recommend that you have your septic system checked and, if necessary, repaired.

Shock Chlorination Treatment for Coliform Bacteria

After eliminating all possible entry points for bacterial contamination, a professional contractor may consider shock chlorination to remove the coliform bacteria from your water well.

Shock chlorination can be effective when contamination is the result of a one-time event, such as the installation of a replacement submersible well pump or a heavy downfall of rain. After the treatment, another water well test is necessary to ensure that bacteria are no longer present.

Continuous Disinfection to Ensure Bacteria-Free Well Water

If shock chlorination doesn’t work to get rid of the bacterial contamination, a professional contractor will turn to continuous disinfection.

Installing a chlorination system, along with a sediment filter, can keep your water well safe from coliform bacteria. However, these systems require a significant amount of maintenance to ensure proper operation, and the chlorine required must be handled according to strict safety guidelines.

More often, a professional contractor will prefer to accompany the sediment filter with an ultraviolet (UV) light unit. This device irradiates the well water as it enters the system, keeping it free of coliform bacteria. If the water has a high hardness level, the addition of a softening system may be advised.

If your water well has tested positive for bacterial contamination and you live in Utah or Wyoming, the licensed Z-Team contractors at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC are here to help.

With over 30 years of experience, Mike Zimmerman Well Service understands how to keep your drinking water safe and your water well in optimal working order. Contact our Salt Lake City office and let the Z-team solve your coliform bacteria problem today.

How Long Do Water Well Pumps Last?

Water well pumps can operate for a considerable number of years – some even last for decades before needing replacement.

However, anything that puts stress on a pump can cause it to fail much sooner. Below, we explain the factors that can negatively affect the lifespan of a water well pump and how to know when the part may be on its last legs.

Water Well Yield

The capacity and output rate of the pump must match the well yield, or the maximum amount of water that can be pumped through the system. Failing to take this into consideration before installation can lead to an early malfunction.

Well Pump Motor

Generally speaking, the larger and more powerful the motor, the longer the pump will last. The type and quality of the bearings also matter, as does meeting any motor lubrication requirements.

Well Pump Duty Cycle

How often the pump needs to run can have a significant impact on its lifespan. An intermittent duty cycle, in which the component operates only a few times per day, offers greater longevity than heavy or continuous cycling.

Well Component Installation

The skill, training and experience of the contractor installing the pump can make a big difference in how long the component lasts. Installation requires more than simply connecting the pump and the wires – to ensure optimal longevity, the contractor needs to have a solid understanding of the proper location to place the check valves, filters and electrical wiring.

Well Water Sediment

Sediment can have a serious impact on how long a pump remains operational. Silt, sand and algae are abrasive, and the contaminants can wear down the bearings and moving parts enough to seriously shorten the component’s lifespan.

Warning Signs of Well Pump Problems

Knowing what to watch for can help water well owners identify when a pump is in need of replacement. Common warning signs include:

  • No water pressure, or a noticeable drop in pressure
  • Random cycling, turning on and off for no apparent reason
  • Short cycling, or cutting off too quickly
  • Continuous cycling, never shutting off
  • Strange or loud noises in the water well system

If you suspect your water well pump is failing and you live in Utah or Wyoming, the licensed Z-Team contractors at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC can resolve the problem with expert care – and at an affordable price.

Mike Zimmerman Well Service, a 30-year industry leader in the Intermountain West, offers complimentary consultations and special discounts for seniors and members of the military. With the Z-Team on the job, you can count on friendly service and exceptional workmanship. Contact our Salt Lake City office and schedule a free, no-pressure consultation to discuss water well pumps today.