Over the next two weeks, we’ll give you ten tips for managing your private well water supply. This comes from a publication by Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Virginia Household Water Quality Program – for more information check out the link below!
- Make sure your well is properly constructed. Well casing should be 12” above the ground, with a sanitary, sealed well cap or secure concrete cover to prevent contamination from insects and surface water. Sanitary well caps for drilled wells often involve a two-piece cap with a rubber gasket, with vertical screws to hold the two pieces together and create a watertight seal. If you are unsure of your well construction, please check out Virginia Household Water Quality Program’s Wellcheck initiative linked below!
- Be sure the ground slopes away from your well to prevent surface water from pooling around the casing, which can cause contamination and damage your system.
- Ensure your well is at least 100 feet away from potential contamination sources, such as chemical storage, oil tanks, and septic tanks. If you have a septic tank, have it pumped regularly.
- Keep the area around your well clean and accessible. Make sure the area is free of debris, paint, motor oil, pesticides and fertilizers. Do not dump waste near your well or near sinkholes, as this may contaminate your water supply.
- Have your water tested once a year for total coliform bacteria, which will give an indication whether there is a likelihood of more dangerous bacteria present, like E. coli, that could potentially cause illness. If your total coliform and E. coli tests are done separately, consider doing the E. coli test if you have a positive total coliform test. Also, every three years, test for pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), nitrate, and other contaminants of local concern.