Sometimes in life, it is the little things that make all the difference.
It is true when adding spices to chili and also true with a small part of your well water system. The well cap - that part that covers the well casing which is sticking out of the ground – plays a vital role in keeping your family and you safe from contaminants in your water.
When your well pump and water system are installed, a sanitary cap is put on and sealed with grout. This keeps contaminants from getting into the water through the well casing.
Some of these contaminants include:
- Pollutants in surface water
- Bacteria, pesticides or herbicides from nonpoint source pollution
As water runs across the ground or a road, it picks up debris and chemicals along the way. From roads come oil and gasoline leaked from cars along with litter. Agricultural areas come chock full of fertilizers, pesticides or animal waste. This nonpoint source pollution rolls along with the water until the water slows down and the heavier pollutants are dropped. If this dirty water finds its way into your well, your water will potentially be contaminated by these things.
Enter the humble well cap.
Properly put on and sealed, the cap keeps surface water from getting in. Additionally, it keeps insects out, which again, could sound small, but is bigger than it appears. Droppings from insects can increase the bacteria in well water. Or, as bugs get trapped in the pipes or water, they die and decompose, releasing additional contaminants.
So what do you need to do to make sure the well cap is doing its magic?
First, make sure you have a certified water professional install your system, including doing that final job of putting the cap on and sealing it. Ask if the cap is a sanitary well cap or a standard well cap. The sanitary type does a better job of sealing out insects and bacteria. They cost a little more than a standard well cap, but are worth the extra dollars.
After that, all you have to do is periodically check to make sure it is still in place. Look to see that it hasn’t been tampered with or been accidentally displaced.
And while a good cap protects from a lot of hazards it is not the only component used to make sure that water going into your water glass is safe.
Groundwater can also be contaminated by a variety of sources such as
- Leaking septic tanks
- High levels of minerals naturally found in bedrock
- Dangerous chemicals from underground storage tanks
- Nearby animal operations
Some of these pollutants are not easily recognized and cannot be detected through smell or sight. It is important to get your water tested annually from a certified organization to make sure there are no unseen dangers lurking in your water glass. So, yes, praise the work of the wondrous well cap, but do your due diligence and make sure your entire well water system is working properly.