Monthly Archives: May 2019

Basics on Well Water Contaminant Testing, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the requirements and basic contaminants that are tested for during well water testing processes. These kinds of tests are vital for any water supply, ensuring that no risks to human health are presented by pollutants or contaminants in water.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, our well treatment and rehabilitation services include several potential contaminant tests. In today’s blog, we’ll go over several additional contaminants that might be detected during these tests, plus the risks they pose and why it’s important for them to be removed from your water supply.

well water contaminant testing

Nitrate

When it’s consumed in certain smaller amounts, including being found in certain food types in extremely minimal quantities, nitrate is not harmful to humans. If you’re interested, you can find information online on exactly how much nitrate is present in certain foods.

When it’s consumed in large enough quantities, however, nitrate can lead to sickness and chronic conditions. One way it can be so thoroughly present is if it enters a water well through agricultural waste or poor sewer systems. The local geology of a given area will also play a large role in the risks of nitrate making its way into your well water. Our pros will be happy to explain the geological factors at play here if you’re concerned about your specific area.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

The category of volatile organic compounds is a wide one, and refers to various chemicals and waste formats that come from factories and manufacturing centers. They’re also commonly found in fuel storage areas.

If you happen to live close to any such facility, or even if you live in an area that might receive water runoff from such a location, you should be testing your water regularly for VOCs. They are considered both a pollutant and a potential contaminant, with major health risks for humans who consume them.

Other Contaminants

There are several other contaminants that may be tested for, and many of them will depend on exactly which area you live in. These tests may include each of the following:

  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Various pesticides
  • Total dissolved solids (a measure of all inorganic and organic substances present in a given molecule)
  • pH level (for pure water, the pH should be 7 – water with lower pH levels than this is considered acidic, while water with higher levels than this is considered basic, with an acceptable drinking range between 6 and 8.5)
  • Coliform bacteria (a clear and often distressing signal that your well water supply has been contaminated by some form of virus, germ, parasite or other invader)

For more on water well contaminant testing, or to learn about any of our water well installation or maintenance services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Basics on Well Water Contaminant Testing, Part 1

When it comes to human drinking water from any source, a primary need before the water is consumed involves removing several possible contaminants. Water contaminants can also come from several sources, including both natural and man-made areas, and can lead to issues ranging from minor respiratory concerns all the way up to major health problems if they aren’t purified out of water before it’s consumed – or prevented from ever infiltrating the water source to begin with.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer several testing services to assess the possible presence of contaminants in your well water, all as part of our well rehabilitation services. Even if you have not experienced any recent contamination issues in your water supply, yearly testing is vital to ensure everything remains in order and no contaminants can make their way in. During this two-part blog, we’ll dig into the general recommendations and rules for water well testing, plus look at several of the most common contaminants and compounds we’ll be testing for as we assess your system.

well water contaminant testing

Testing Requirements and Common Errors

While actual legal requirements will differ between states and even within individual cities and municipalities in some cases, most experts and disease control officers will tell you it’s best to have the well tested every year. Ideally, the spring period we’re in right now is the optimal range – it’s nestled in just after the long winter, one where the elements may have impacted areas of your well and altered their protective qualities, and also gets this out of the way before the hot summer arrives.

Unfortunately, many water well owners make the mistake of only testing their well water a single time: When they buy the home. Apart from yearly inspections, there are a few events that might necessitate a well water test:

  • Recent flooding or major water event in your area
  • When other well owners in your area have experienced contamination issues
  • Anytime you notice changes in taste, odor or color of your well water

From here, let’s begin looking at some of the common well water contaminants and the risks they pose.

Radon

One of the single most common contaminants in any water source, not just wells, is radon. This is a radioactive gas that’s dangerous in part due to how difficult it is to detect with natural senses – it cannot be smelled or tasted, and has no distinct color.

In many cases, radon is released when well water is used for drinking and washing. It can lead to significant respiratory issues, and is a known risk factor for lung cancer.

Arsenic

Arsenic is a chemical found in many minerals, known as a metalloid. It can lead to health issues ranging from cardiovascular disease to several forms of cancer.

For more on well water testing and the contaminants it helps prevent, or to learn about any of our well water services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.