How To Treat Well Water: Our Best Guide

Why Learn How To Treat Well Water?

Private well water is not filtered and disinfected before it enters your home, in contrast to municipal water.

Even though well water is exempt from certain of the requirements for public water sources, you should still make sure that it is clean and safe to consume.

Installing a well water treatment system is necessary to get rid of typical well water impurities such as coliform bacteria, iron, nitrates, and sulfate.

When it comes to removing the undesirable components from your well water, distillers, whole-house water filters, water softeners, and disinfection systems are all viable solutions.

I’ll be contrasting the various water treatment techniques in this tutorial to assist you in choosing the one that is best for you.

What is Well Water? What is Groundwater?

Groundwater is the source of water for all private wells. Groundwater is water that accumulates in the crevices between rocks, sand, gravel, and soil after it rains or melts snow or ice. It may rise and fill rivers, lakes, springs, and other water bodies, or it may remain underground for hundreds of thousands of years.

A well can also be used to pump groundwater. About 50% of our municipal, household, and agricultural water supply is groundwater, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Importance of Well Water Testing

Untreated groundwater (surface water) collected by wells may include a wide range of pollutants, some of which are deadly and others of which are less toxic but may still have an impact on the flavor or odor of your drinking water.

Your local area’s naturally occurring mineral and impurity levels, as well as human-related activity like adjacent agricultural runoff or burst septic tanks, affect the quantity of pollutants in your drinking water.

In order to ensure that your well water is continuously safe to drink, you must develop a routine for testing it.

By having your well water tested, you can learn if there are dangerous concentrations of any contaminants that have found their way into your surface water as well as whether there are high concentrations of other impurities, such as iron and hard water minerals, which could harm your home’s plumbing, fixtures, and water-using appliances.

The EPA advises that you should get your well water tested by a facility that has received state certification. If your local laboratory offers any packages for testing for several well pollutants at once, get in touch with them. You may learn more about the pollutants in your water and the issues they could create in a lab.

Understanding Your Water’s Chemistry

It will be easier for you to choose the water treatment system that is most appropriate for your needs if you are aware of the features of your well water, including the mix of pollutants that impact your drinking water quality and pH.

Coliform bacteria, calcium and magnesium, lead, arsenic, iron, sulfate, nitrates, silt, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and VOCs are some of the most crucial possible pollutants to test for in your well water.

Variable concentrations of each of these contaminants will result in distinct problems in your homes and call for unique filtering or removal techniques.

For instance, if you have issues with drinking water hardness, it would be preferable to choose a specialised water softener, which would replace the minerals in hard water with ions that cannot form scale.

Your best bet if bacteria in your drinking water is the problem is to utilize a disinfection system, such a UV or chlorination system.

You should look into a whole-home well water filtration system or a reverse osmosis unit for the removal of certain problem minerals or ions, such as sulfate or iron, which may cause corrosion, impact water flavor and odor, and make household cleaning more challenging.

Additionally, if there is a sewage leak, installing septic tanks too close to a well will contaminate your freshwater source. In addition, the water supply can be contaminated by naturally occurring substances like iron and manganese as well as runoff from populated regions.

Understanding Water Pressure & Flow Rate

A well’s optimal water pressure ranges from 40 to 60 PSI. Get your well inspected routinely for faults and issues, especially if your water pressure is lower than intended. A malfunctioning well pump or pressure tank might cause a reduction in pressure.

No matter if you want to build a well water treatment system or not, having enough water pressure will ensure that water can circulate through your house rapidly and enable you to operate several appliances at once.

However, it becomes even more crucial that your water pressure is strong enough if you have a water treatment system installed, as running water through a filter or resin may considerably slow it down.

A system’s ability to function effectively may be compromised by a weak flow rate, particularly in components that depend on rapid flow, such reverse osmosis. The force of the water on the filter media or resin in your water treatment systems might also cause harm if your water pressure is too high.

You may quickly and easily determine your water pressure by fastening a pressure gauge to your main water pipe. Installing a constant pressure system can stop your pressure from substantially falling while you’re using many appliances at once if you do discover that your pressure is erratic.

Types of Well Water Treatment Systems

There are several kinds of well water treatment systems, and each one is designed to get rid of certain impurities from your water source. These systems consist of:

Water Softeners

Your main water line is equipped with water softeners for usage throughout your whole property. Private well water’s hardness, which can build scale and potentially harm appliances and delay water flow, is one of the major cosmetic issues. Water hardness is caused by calcium and magnesium salts, which are removed from water by water softening devices.

There are two alternatives for treating treated water: salt-based water softeners (or sodium-based softeners) and saltless softeners (conditioners). Water cannot form scale deposits because salt-based softeners employ the ion exchange mechanism to exchange harmful sodium ions for hardness ions.

Private well water hardness minerals are not really removed by water conditioners; rather, they are changed in composition without changing water taste so that they can no longer adhere to surfaces.

Some water softeners may also remove trace amounts of iron and sulfur, but it’s preferable to use one of the solutions below if your well water has a lot of these toxins.

Whole House Filters

Whole-house water filtration systems typically include two tanks: one small tank to cover a sediment pre-filter and the bigger tank storing a similar filter medium that may efficiently remove contaminants like iron, arsenic, nitrate, sulfate, and heavy metals that frequently reach a groundwater source.

This kind of complete home filtration system often employs the oxidation method to successfully remove these frequent pollutants from private well water. Well water with sulfate, manganese, and iron contaminants oxidizes as it passes through an air pocket.

The pollutants are subsequently trapped by the filter medium, which only allows pure, filtered water to flow through. The device will periodically perform an automated backwash to clear the media bed of impurities.

Depending on what you choose, some whole-house treated water filters will also handle the presence of dissolved metal or chemical pollution with a carbon filtration step.

Verify that the well water filtration system you’re considering is capable of doing the task if your local well water supply has a particular pollutant, such as manganese or sulfate, as their exact capabilities differ from product to product.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis filtration systems may be built to either distribute filtered tap water to your kitchen sink faucet or to your entire household. This type of well water treatment system is regarded as one of the best at eliminating a wide range of pollutants that, when present, might represent a concern to public safety, including dangerous bacteria, fluoride, heavy metals, arsenic, chemicals, and more.

Reverse osmosis is a great choice if you want to handle a variety of impurities in your private well water with one unit because it is so ubiquitous and has the option to be installed at a dedicated sink or your home’s point of entry.

An RO filter has many filtering stages that can enhance water quality. Typically, water passes through a sediment filter and a carbon filter, which remove substantial pollutants and odour-causing substances while also enhancing taste and odor and making well water safe to drink.

A semi-permeable membrane, which contains small holes that function as a sieve to allow only tiny water particles to pass through, is also a component of reverse osmosis systems.

Reverse osmosis water filters are among the most expensive household water treatment systems available to well owners, but for the majority of individuals, the initial cost is well worth it over time.

Chemical Disinfection Systems

Disinfection is the deactivation or eradication of harmful bacteria by physical or chemical process. The extensive disinfecting procedure used in municipal water treatment systems is mimicked by chemical disinfection.

A disinfectant (often chlorine, ozone, or chlorine dioxide) is injected into a water supply in this type of drinking water filter at controlled doses. Water is typically stored in a sizable tank by a chemical disinfection system, giving the chemical enough time to disinfect the drinking water before it enters your home.

Although these sorts of household water treatment systems are rather expensive, it is also inexpensive and simple to maintain; all you need to do is make sure to replace the chemical disinfectant as needed.

Although the amount of chemicals added is not enough to have a negative impact on your health, you may opt not to utilize chemical disinfection treatment systems if you’d rather avoid chemical process into your water supply.

UV Disinfection Systems

Without using chlorine or any comparable chemical, Ultraviolet light or UV disinfection seeks to achieve the same outcome as chemical disinfection. In a UV disinfection chamber, water is being treated while being passed through.

More than 99.9% of the typical microorganisms found in private wells, such as viruses, disease-causing bacteria (including E. Coli), mold, yeasts, and algae, may be killed by the UV rays produced by the light.

The majority of well water filters aren’t able to remove germs since they may squeeze past the filter holes. In contrast, ultraviolet radiation destroys the DNA of these pathogens, kills them, and prevents them from being able to reproduce instead of filtering them out of water.

The goal of UV water systems is live, difficult-to-filter bacteria in wells; other typical pollutants that degrade water quality won’t be removed or killed by these systems. Because of this, many well owners find that the greatest results come from combining separate UV disinfection with a whole-house water well filter or water softener device.

Distillation Systems

A highly efficient way to extract batches of pure, clean water from your well is using distillation equipment. Water is treated by boiling it until it evaporates, letting it cool, and then condensing it into a carafe. The bulk of pollutants are confined in the boiling chamber because they are unable to shift states.

Bacteria (like E. Coli), chemicals like chlorine, heavy metals like lead, and minerals like hardness ions, sulfate, iron, and manganese are some of the contaminants that a distillation water system reduces or removes.

This type of water treatment has a lot going for it: it’s portable, it doesn’t need to be installed, and it’s one of the most comprehensive alternatives on the list. But there are also drawbacks. If you need fast access to large amounts of water, distillers are not the greatest choice because they typically take 4 hours to generate a single batch of clean water.

Which Type of Treatment System Do I Need?

If you don’t know what toxins your well water contains, water testing might help you figure out which professional drinking water purification system could be appropriate for you. You should also think about your budget. Once you have a budget in mind, you may search for systems that are both inexpensive and efficient at eliminating the specific toxins you’re after.

More alternatives are available to you if your budget is larger, but you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money, especially if testing has shown that your well water only has one or two problematic chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does it Cost to Treat Well Water?

It depends on the medical approach you choose. Some home systems utilize more hardware and need more upkeep than others.

Some well-related systems cost more money up front but require little maintenance or special care over the course of their lifespan. A family well water filter, for instance, might cost between $900 and $3,000 and last up to 10 years with absolutely no further maintenance.

How Do I Get Rid of Bacteria in My Well Water?

The most troublesome concern with groundwater is bacterial pollution. Even if it’s challenging to eradicate the bacterial problem, you can get rid of the disease before it contaminates your home’s water supply and poses a health risk.

The typical carbon filtering cartridge won’t be able to eliminate the germs in tap water since the microorganisms are too tiny to get through the gaps. Utilizing a disinfecting system, such as a UV system or chlorinating system, at your home’s point of entry is the best way to handle microbial infection. Bacteria will be eliminated, rendering the water safe to drink.

How Long Should You Wait to Use Water After You Chlorinate a Well?

You must let the water remain in the chlorinated solution for at least 12 to 24 hours before using it. This implies refraining from using water-based appliances, flushing toilets, or running the taps during this period.

You can run your faucets and utilize water-based equipment once again after 24 hours, however it is advised that you wait one to two weeks before drinking from your faucet.

How Often Should You Chlorinate Your Well?

If a water test reveals certain dangerous contaminants, you have an old well, or you have reason to suspect contamination (such as damage to your well pump or aquifer, reports of problems with the nearby groundwater, etc.), chlorinating your well water supplies is one way to protect your home from contamination.

Additionally, you need to clean your pump (a well or pump contractor can help you with this if you need assistance).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, households must get their water thoroughly tested for disease-causing microorganisms at least once a year (EPA). If your test shows that your water is unsafe to drink, you merely need to add chlorine to your well.

I Need More Information About Treating My Well. Where Can I find It?

Online resources from your local health department should be available. If you had any urgent inquiries or concerns, you might also get in touch with your neighborhood or local health department.

The websites of the National Ground Water Association and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are two more excellent resources for information about local and national surface water wells.

If you believe you need to replace an existing well or have a major problem, your local certified well contractor or another specialist may also provide safety guidelines and guidance to homeowners. These experts will also be very familiar with the water supply in the areas close to your property.

Leave a Comment