Does your well water almost appear carbonated when you draw it from the faucet?
Tiny bubbles that disappear within a minute or so are usually not a health concern. However, in some cases, the presence of bubbles may indicate a problem with your well that could pose a safety risk.
So, what causes these air bubbles? You’ll need a water service expert to tell you for sure, but here are some of the most common explanations.
Natural Dissolved Gases in Well Water
Naturally occurring underground gases react with groundwater as it passes through rocks and sediments.
These gases can dissolve, producing fine air bubbles. At greater depths – typical of many artesian or drilled bedrock wells – a higher concentration of dissolved gases may be present. Lower water temperatures also typically hold more dissolved gases.
Most of these natural gases are harmless, particularly in small concentrations. However, well water that contains methane can be unsafe. At high concentrations, methane is a fire hazard and can be explosive. A high level of radon is also dangerous, as studies have shown that it can increase the risk of developing some types of cancer.
A well service expert can perform tests to determine if you need to remove any gases, or simply adjust the pump settings to eliminate the air bubbles.
Drawdown When Well Water is Pumped
When your well pump runs, the level of water inside the well drops. This process is known as drawdown.
If the pump is too large for the well, this drawdown can be excessive, allowing air to enter the line. Too much drawdown can also occur if drought conditions have significantly lowered the groundwater supply.
Using less water in your home is one solution to this problem. But, in the long term, this may not be practical.
Also, excessive drawdown can cause overheating that can damage your pump motor. An experienced well service expert can take corrective action to address the issue, either replacing your pump with one that is properly sized or installing a drawdown cutoff device.
Other Causes for Bubbles in Well Water
Some treatment systems, such as those used to remove manganese or iron, inject air into the water as a part of the filtration process. The water is then routed to a tank, where the excess air is removed.
If you are experiencing lots of air bubbles, your system may be improperly sized for your usage or your system settings may require an adjustment. It is also possible that repairs are needed for your well water treatment system.
Air bubbles in the water could have another, more innocuous cause: your home’s faucets. The design of some faucets and fixtures can create turbulence in the water as it flows out, resulting in that carbonated look.
If you’ve noticed air bubbles in your well water, call Mike Zimmerman Well Service. Serving Utah and South Wyoming, we specialize in commercial and residential well-related services. Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive well water evaluation.