Most of the time, we turn on the tap and don’t think about where the water comes from. We often take for granted that our homes have safe, reliable water for use in the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and garden.
Is the water safe to drink? Water supplied by a utility or municipality is regularly tested to make sure that it meets drinking standards. In a home with a private well, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to test the water. Testing once a year is a good idea. Homes with a well and public supply must never connect the two systems.
If you use water conditioner equipment, it should be maintained and kept in good working order. Most wells do not require chemicals for treatment but the only way to know the quality of the water is by regular testing. The soil does an effective job of naturally cleansing harmful organisms from rainwater some of which will recharge drinking water aquifers. Deep ground water is more likely to be free from organisms than water from shallow wells because of longer travel times. Untreated surface water from a lake or river almost always contains bacteria and other organisms.
Some threats to groundwater include: factories an industries; agricultural areas; trash and toxic materials; leaking underground storage tanks; malfunctioning septic systems; road salt; waste oil; and garden chemicals. Individual behavior can impact ground water quality and consequently, private well water. One must always dispose of hazardous materials and chemicals in an appropriate and safe manner and never on your property which could impact the drinking water aquifer. Most landfills or transfer stations accommodate the safe recycling of hazardous materials such as paint, solvents, batteries, and cleaning products. Contaminants on the ground surface and in the soil may be picked up by rainfall and through infiltration and runoff affect the quality of groundwater.