If you’re buying a home, there are so many things to consider and inspections that need to be done. If you’re looking at a home with a private well, however, there’s an extra inspection not to overlook that’s very important to your family’s health: a well water test.
By testing, you can make sure that the well water doesn’t contain unhealthy contaminants. You may not be able to taste, smell or see these contaminants, but if not found and treated, they can pose serious risks to the health of you and your family. Only a well water test can help prevent any costly, or potentially harmful, surprises down the road.
A few contaminants found in the New England region are methyl-tertiary-butyl ether – you may have heard about it as MtBE – radon and arsenic – all potential carcinogens. Other contaminants to watch out for include bacteria, viruses and parasites – all of which can be found in water. Both the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services recommend that well water quality be tested when either buying or building a new home.
Fortunately Skillings & Sons makes well water testing a snap for prospective home buyers, sellers and/or home inspectors. The company now offers well water testing kits that you can pick up at the company’s 9 Columbia Drive office in Amherst. After you take a water sample, you bring it right back to Skillings & Sons. Tests are conducted by Granite State Analytical, a lab accredited by the state to provide well water testing services; Skillings & Sons will help you interpret the results and suggest a course of action, if necessary.
If you do buy a property with a well, the EPA recommends the well water be tested yearly for coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. The NH DES recommends testing every three to five years for a more complete set of contaminants. If problems arise, such as off-color, odor or laundry staining, you may need to run additional tests. Requirements for well testing vary by state – New Hampshire, for instance, has no requirement for well testing – so it’s up to you to make sure your family has clean and safe drinking water for years to come.
Skillings & Sons, headquartered in Amherst, N.H., serves much of New England and has been in the well water technology business for 40 years. The company’s services include almost everything to do with water systems, including design and installation, maintenance, drilling, water testing, treatment, consulting, emergency service and hydrofracking for water veins. For more on well water testing, go to www.skillingsandsons.com/water-testing/.