Some Important Questions to Ask About Well Water

Posted on: 16 February 2016

Well water, sometimes called bore water, is often chosen in rural areas where a home cannot be hooked up to city water supplies. Well water can also mean a more affordable source of water for the home, which is especially important on farms that use more water than other residences. If you have well water on your property, note a few important questions to consider so you know it's always clean and safe.

1. Why get water tested after heavy rains, snow, or floods?

It's easy to think that the water that gets into your well from heavy rains, snow, or floods is safe, but remember that rain and snow can catch dust and air pollution as it falls. Floods bring surface water into your well, and surface water can contain insects, animal waste, pollutants from industrial runoff, and the like. While a small amount of these potential contaminants are often cleaned with the filters or other cleansing agents you might use regularly, they may occur in such high quantities after a heavy rainfall, snow, or flooding that your well water is contaminated. It may need professional treatment before you can safely use it again.

2. What is the best way to avoid contamination in a well?

Regular maintenance of your well is critical to the health of your water; checking the pumps and filters and ensuring they're always in good working order and nothing is rusting into your water supply will keep it clean. However, note that shallow wells are often more prone to contamination than deeper wells, as deeper wells bring in water that is protected from the pollutants mentioned above. If you want to keep your water clean, you might consider drilling a deeper well even if you don't necessarily need the amount of water it would provide.

3. How close to pipes and other buried lines can a well be located?

This often depends on your local area and the regulations they have in place for where you can locate a well according to plumbing pipes, water mains, and electrical lines. However, you might consult with a bore driller as to the best location on your property, beyond legal guidelines. Remember that if a plumbing pipe were to burst, the closer it is to your well, the more likely it is that your water will be contaminated before you can fix that pipe. If the ground slopes toward your well, you might want to locate it an even greater distance than the legal requirement. Choose a location for your well that offers the most convenience but also the most safety for your water supply.


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