What To Know About Well Water and Childrens Health

If you’re a homeowner and you get water from a well, it’s your responsibility to monitor and check your well water.  The EPA suggests you test your well annually to insure its safety and cleanliness. If you have children, annual checkups are a must. Your well is your most valuable asset and ensuring its safety as well as the health and safety of your family should be a primary concern.

A recent report released by The American College of Pediatrics (ACP) called for improved public education about drinking water and children’s health. The report voiced concerns about children’s increased susceptibility to the health effects of contaminated drinking water from any source public or private.

While the U.S. boasts one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, surface water contamination, agricultural runoff, and naturally occurring contaminants like radon and arsenic can sometimes make their way into groundwater supplies. Testing is your first line of defense against health related problems caused by water contamination.

Water Testing Recommendations

Over 23 million U.S. households rely on a well as their primary source of potable water.  The EPA and ACP both recommend annual testing to ensure safety and to protect your children’s health. There are situations that may require more frequent testing and treatment, they include:
            • if any member of the household is pregnant or nursing
            • if there are any cases of unexplained gastrointestinal illness in the home
            • if the well on a neighboring property was found to be contaminated
            • if your water quality changes in any way, taste, odor, color or clarity
            • if there is a chemical or fuel spill anywhere near the well

Water testing is reasonably priced and most labs will offer a “package” plan if testing for multiple contaminants. Contact us to learn more about water testing or to schedule an appointment.

Water Tests should include:

  • Bacteria such as cryptosporidium and e-coli
  • Nitrates and Nitrites which as of special concern to young children and pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Any local, naturally occurring contaminants. Naturally occurring contaminants can pose a threat in certain geographic locations. Naturally occurring radon and arsenic can be found in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts for example.

It’s especially important to test for nitrates/nitrites as well as arsenic and radon if you have small children in the house or are pregnant or nursing. These contaminants are odorless and colorless and can have health consequences even at low levels.  A cross-sectional study of children in Maine, where naturally occurring arsenic is sometimes present in groundwater, found that even trace amounts could affect a child’s learning ability, IQ, perceptual reasoning, memory and verbal comprehension.

Fortunately, there are cost-effective solutions available that can treat any contaminants that may be present., Have your testing done by an accredited state-certified lab. They can help you to interpret your results and can direct you to a state-certified well contractor in the event there is a problem. Skillings & Sons can also help you to understand your test results and can offer solutions such as filtration or distillation systems to alleviate any issues with your water supply.

As we learn more about the potential effects of contaminants on children’s health, it’s more important than ever before to test your well at least annually. if you have small children in the house.  It’s inexpensive, easy and will provide both you and your family peace of mind and clean, safe drinking water.