NJ Well Owners’ Guide to Water Testing and Treatment
How to Test Water
You can purchase a water kit from your local home improvement store. You should test your water annually. You will also be able to figure out any inefficiencies in your well and fix it before they become an issue. Testing water can avoid bigger issues by:
- Identifying issues, such as contamination.
- Avoiding replacing piping or appliances.
- Avoiding getting sick from contamination.
- Assessing whether you need to relocate your well.
With 47 percent of Americans depending on groundwater for their drinking water supply, water quality is an important concept to master. Your own well water should be tested annually by a licensed contractor to maintain the safety of your drinking water. A well water test can help you solve issues connected to poorly performing appliances, leaks, and bad-tasting water. Here are some common issues that testing water quality can eliminate.
Hard Water – When water flows deep into the ground, it can pick up lots of minerals from the porous rock that makes up an aquifer. These minerals can pass through a house’s pipes and plumbing, and leave build up in the form of deposits on the appliances and piping. Minerals affect the efficiency of soap, which results in soap scum.
Iron/Manganese – If your water tastes metallic, it’s because there is an abundance of iron in the water. This rusty taste can also cause issues with piping and appliances. Both elements are naturally occurring in small quantities.
Nitrogen – The nitrogen found in groundwater comes mostly from the atmosphere, but some of it comes from fertilizers, sewage, landfills, farm runoff, and manure. Ammonia and nitrites are the most common chemicals found in groundwater and can result in toxic health risks to aquatic life and humans. Issues with nitrogen normally have a source, so be sure to resolve it as soon as possible.
Infectious microorganisms – There are so many issues that can come from a biological contamination of your well. Microorganisms can spread disease and illness, with symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Dysentery, E. coli, and hepatitis can happen when waste penetrates and infects your water system.
Hard Water – Water softeners can be installed to filter out the minerals in your water. These softeners use sodium and sometimes potassium to soften the water, so those who are sensitive to sodium should be careful when using it.
Iron/Manganese– Specially designed softeners can fix this issue, but the use of chlorination or hydrogen peroxide will be more effective. These filter out the iron through different methods.
Nitrogen – The most common treatment is a reverse osmosis system. This system comes equipped with water softeners to help extract the nitrogen from the water. But, remember, most nitrogen issues are coming from a source. Your first priority should be to remove the source.
Infectious microorganisms – Because of the higher risk to health when infectious microorganisms invade your well water supply, the best solutions are the most invasive. Well owners can try to purge the water by attempting to inoculate the water, which means introducing predatory microorganisms to consume the dangerous ones, or replacing all the plumbing in the hopes the issue is there. Sometimes, the best solution is to relocate the well altogether, either by changing its location or digging much deeper where you currently are to get away from the issue.
If you live in NJ, well water testing can give you peace of mind and avoid issues that come from groundwater contamination. And, annual well testing in NJ is required through the NJ Private Well Testing Act.
At All American Environmental, we install groundwater monitoring wells. These wells are designed to monitor the groundwater to evaluate any changes in the biological, chemical or physical properties of the water. Need more information please feel free to contact us.
We hope our article “NJ Well Owners’ Guide to Water Testing and Treatment” has provided you with valuable knowledge.