Your Wellhead Can Be A Source of Water Contamination. Follow These Best Practices.
Your wellhead is the visible portion of your drinking water system that is located above ground at the top of your water well. Protecting your wellhead is the best way to ensure the quality of your drinking water supply.
An unprotected or neglected wellhead can be a source of contamination entering your water well system. It should be high in the landscape (approx 12-inches above ground) so that surface water like rain or flooding will drain away from the wellhead reducing the chances for contamination.
Here are some tips for protecting and maintaining your wellhead as well as practices to make sure that your water supply remains safe.
Maintaining Your Wellhead
Your wellhead's primary function is to protect the well casing, which is the lining of your well, and the well cap, which is the tight fitting seal at the top of the well. It's the first defense against contaminants entering your water supply. You should regularly inspect your wellhead to ensure that these elements are in good condition.
Be careful when working or mowing around your well. It is easy to damage the wellhead with heavy equipment like a riding mower and any damage could jeopardize the sanitary protection into the well, allowing contaminants to enter.
When landscaping around your wellhead, make sure that it is at least 12-inches above ground level. Slope the ground down and away from the opening to ensure proper drainage.
Ensuring The Safety of Your Water Supply
Along with working or mowing around the wellhead, their common household activities can threaten the quality of your drinking water. Even small spills of pesticides, fuels or fertilizers to close to your well can seep into the ground and contaminate your water supply. Here are some precautions to take.
• Avoid mixing or using herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, fuels, degreasers and other pollutants within 100 feet of your well.
• Conduct periodic visual checks for activities that mght compromise your drinking water system at or near the wellhead. These can include- septic tanks, cesspools, chemical storage areas, waste piles, sewers, maintenance areas, machinery, underground and above ground storage tanks, animal pens, feedlots, and manure storage areas.
• If any of these conditions exist, it may be necessary to test your water quality more than once a year as recommended by the EPA. Try to move risky activities away from your well. Make sure your well is properly located according to local regulations.
• Make sure to inspect and pump your septic system as recommended by your local health department typically every three to five years. Failing septic systems are a major cause of ground water contamination.
If you have any questions you should contact the well water professional who installed your well. If you live in New Hampshire of Massachusetts give Skillings and Sons a call. We can help you with all of your well water needs from annual testing to maintenance and inspection of your well water system. We also sell and install water treatment systems and leak detection and prevention systems to protect your home and property. We're always happy to answer your questions so feel free to give us a call!