What You Need To Know Groundwater Contamination and Your Water Well

High-quality groundwater delivered to your home from a water well is a cool, refreshing gift that is often just taken for granted.

However, there can be a variety of contaminants that make the water taste or smell bad and occasionally make you acutely sick. Some can even cause long-term health problems. With the right filtering system, contaminants in groundwater can be removed, and all you get is the great tasting sip and the assurance that your family is safe from harm.

There are a broad range of contaminants; the Environmental Protection Agency has standards for over 80 that can pose a hazard to your health. Some of these contaminants can come from natural sources like decaying vegetation, and some can come from man-made pursuits such as refining gasoline or agricultural applications. These include copper, lead, chromium and ammonia.

Think of groundwater issues from contaminants as falling into two categories: noticible and imperceptible.

Noticeable Issues are things like bad taste, unpleasant smell, cloudiness, staining and scale deposits. These problems can be caused by:

  • Dissolved solids
  • Bacteria or sulfates
  • Tannins from vegetation
  • Chemicals naturally occurring in water, or
  • Chemicals from the pipes moving the water to the taps.

Water that smells or tastes like turpentine can point to the presence of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Imperceptible water problems are when your water looks, tastes and smells just fine, but is hiding other common groundwater contaminants. Chemicals from fertilizers or other agricultural processes can find their way into groundwater and make their way to well water. Gasoline refining and underground fuel tanks can leak, releasing chemicals into the ground. Runoff from roads contains dangerous substances and even leaking underground septic tanks can contaminate the water.

Other chemicals like arsenic and ammonia can come from both natural and human sources. Either way, a good filtration system can make sure your family and you are protected. A water professional can analyze your water and guide you in choosing the right system for you.

The EPA is also beginning to track other chemical contaminants known as “emerging contaminants.” Some of these include:

  • Personal care products like soaps and cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals which are either dumped directly into water sources or make their way through the human body to the water supply
  • Endocrine disruptors

Contaminants can be filtered out through a variety of ways including reverse osmosis, physical or chemical filters or a combination of them.

When you are choosing a water professional to test your groundwater and set up a filtration system, contact a Skillings & Sons water professional.  Our firm is a member of the Water Quality Association. This certification lets you know that certain industry standards are being followed.