Drilling A New Well? Here's How To Prevent Contamination

Posted on: 25 September 2017

When drilling a new well, there are a number of things to consider. But having a well that provides clean drinking water is generally at the top of everyone's list. Before you start your project, here are six useful tips for preventing contamination in your well water.  

Choose the Right Spot

When it comes to well "real estate," location is everything for a variety of reasons. There will be a number of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right location for your well, but you definitely want to stay away from potential sources of contaminants. This means avoiding building your well close to the following:

  • Garages
  • Cesspools
  • Landfills
  • Septic tanks
  • Storage sheds
  • Streams or canals

When tapping into an underground aquifer, it's important to realize that most of them are fairly large. In fact, many of them are used for well water by multiple people within the neighborhood. This is a good thing because it gives you a variety of options when it comes to choosing the right spot to dig the access hole for your well. While keeping the above under consideration, a well should also be located in an area that's higher than the surrounding ground. This can help prevent contaminants from pooling into the well.

Install a Well Cap

A well cap covers the casing that extends from the ground, and it has a couple of functions. First, the screen in the cap allows the pressure inside and outside the well to remain equal as the well pump functions. Without equal pressure, water would have a hard time getting out. But a well cap's primary purpose is to keep contaminants out of your drinking water, and it does this in several ways.

First, it prevents water runoff pollutants that move over the surface of the ground from entering the well. It also keeps out insects that can get trapped inside the well and die. Bacteria from feces and decomposing insects are a potential threat that can be eliminated with the use of a well cap.

A properly installed well cap should have a tight seal and be free of cracks. Be sure to inspect it for damage from time to time, and don't do any heavy landscaping (planting bushes, trees, or excess flowers) around the cap. If you wish to cover it for aesthetic reasons, use a mock rock that's specifically designed to cover a well cap but can be easily lifted for periodic inspections. 

Use Well Screens

Well screens are generally located underneath the well pipe, and they prevent sediment from entering the well as the water flows upward from the ground. The only time a well screen isn't needed is if the well is drilled into bedrock. The screen is big enough for water to enter but prevents rocks, sand, dirt, and other debris from passing through. A well-designed screen should resist clogging and corrosion.

Implement Filter Packs

Filter packs can be placed anywhere inside the well, but it's vital that one also be placed on the outside of the screen. They facilitate the movement of water into the well while also filtering out sediment.

Use Grout Seals

Bore holes are created during the drilling process, and they are slightly larger than the diameter of the well casing. Because of this, the gap that exists between the well casing and the bore hole wall should be sealed with grout to keep out contaminants. This is something that's often overlooked in private wells, but they are so important for clean drinking water.

Perform Annual Inspections

Private well water should be tested annually by a professional laboratory. They can check for contaminants including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other harmful chemicals that pose threats to people and animals.

To find out who can test your water, contact the Health and Human Services Department in your county. Some laboratories offer free screenings at periodic community events.


No Place Is As Important As Where You Live

I'm Maryann Delgado and I am very happy with the success my life has brought. One thing I have learned is to never underestimate the importance of your property, whether it is a storefront or your home. We spend the majority of our time in our homes, working and living our lives. I have visited many properties that just feel off. Those who live in work on these properties don't understand the changes that can be made to how they construct their buildings. I have had to learn everything I can about construction in order to build my perfect home and I have many lessons I'd love to teach to others.

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