Well pump service and repairs are critical to ensuring your well water is safe. Unlike city water, there’s no government agency making sure that a homeowner’s well is maintained and the water is suitable for drinking. That’s why a well technician should be brought out once or twice a year to test for problems. Otherwise, do you really know what you’re showering with — or putting in your body?
At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, researchers have partnered with the state to take a closer look at the connection between wells rich in manganese and birth defects. It’s been found that North Carolina newborns are likelier to suffer from heart defects if their mothers ingested well water with high manganese levels. Specifically, wells in the middle of the state are brimming with manganese, according to researchers.
Heavy Metal isn’t Just Risky for Your Ears
Recently, researchers around the world have been paying more attention to how heavy metals are impacting fetuses. In addition to manganese, chromium, mercury, cadmium and arsenic also pose a potential danger. Rebecca Fry, a professor at UNC, said cadmium can gather in the bloodstream, ultimately hurting a newborn.
“Just being able to map those metals across the state is very new,” she explained. It’s a way for homeowners to take a quick glance and see if they (or their unborn children) are at risk. However, the only way to know for sure is with testing — and ultimately treating — the wells or water.
The Results Are In
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Birth Defect Monitoring Program gathered data on 20,000 children who were born with birth defects and 668,000 who were not. The children were born all over North Carolina, so their mothers were exposed to a wide variety of well-water quality.
Manganese was found in heavy doses in certain wells, with 20 percent of the wells having more manganese than the Environmental Protection Agency recommends. Children exposed to these wells had a higher chance of having heart defects, since it’s ultimately poisonous in high doses. It’s also been linked to neurological issues.
The good news is that filters are available, and the cost of testing is under $100. You don’t have to be expecting a baby in order to benefit from well pump service and repairs — it should be a priority for every well owner.