or domestic wells can appear to be that long-desired, private, clean,
clear, water source every American deserves. However, this often is
not the case. Water is often polluted and not healthy to drink. Unhealthy
water can be clean, clear, and taste great.
how healthy is the water in your well? Pollution can arrive at your
well either through point source pollution (pollution from one source
such as a feed lot or factory pipe outlet) or non-point pollution
(pollution from several sources such as over fertilized lawns, streams,
and roads). Private water sources on small acreage's in rural Colorado
usually consist of a well, which can be shallow or deep, and can exist
in a vast array of situations. Some wells may exist near livestock
pens, cropland, or in a variety of other situations.
you can probably guess, the quality of water in your well can be determined
through a water test. Once the water quality is determined, steps
can then be taken to remedy any bacteria problems or other "unwanted"
are not necessarily in your well at life threatening levels. However,
a simple water test can provide the information necessary to determine
whether your water needs to be treated.
Hazardous Waste Management
amounts of household chemicals such as furniture polish, paints, stains
and drain cleaners, when concentrated in a small area can contaminate
your underground water supply. Also, petroleum products, antifreeze
or lead acid batteries can reach your underground water supply. What
about pesticides that you use around your yard? They can also contaminate
your drinking water. A simple rule is to stay back a minimum of 150
ft. from your water well.
address the concern of over fertilization of your yard. Always do
a soil test. Apply fertilizer only if you detect a deficiency of a
particular nutrient. Develop a fertilizer management plan and store
your products in a safe place. When taken, all of these steps will
prevent contamination of your water well from misuse of your fertilizer.
storage areas for your pesticide containers and follow label directions.
Stay at least 150 feet back of your well when mixing pesticides. Use
an anti-siphoning device on your hydrant and never rinse out your
sprayer tank near your well. These are just some of the things to
do to prevent contamination of your drinking well.
are several potential contaminants in household wastewater that you
need to be aware of. They can include disease-causing bacteria, infection
viruses, household chemicals and nutrients such as nitrogen. You need
to know the exact location of your septic tank system and have it
tested once every three years. Never dispose of hazardous household
chemicals down your drain. Determine where these materials can safely
be recycled and disposed of.
should always keep any livestock at least 150 feet away from your
well. Any manure should also be kept 250 feet away. Where do you dispose
of your dead livestock? Develop a manure management plan to address
these issues and protect your underground water supply.
Your Private Well
the simple water quality test, you might find your water is fantastic
and nothing short of your long awaited rural lifestyle water quality
dreams. On the other hand, you may find harmful levels of bacteria
and other unwanted microscopic life that can make your water harmful
for various uses.
water needs to be free from viable disease-causing bacteria, viruses,
cysts, and worms, - all which are microscopic or smaller. Public water
systems have elaborate and expensive facilities to control these pathogens.
Private water systems rarely have such water quality treatment facilities.
can all too frequently be subjected to bacteria, pathogens, or other
wells, particularly old wells with unsealed linings of rock or
stone can easily be polluted.
wells of broken limestone with shallow soil cover can also be
wells probably were not constructed properly and readily allow
pollutants to enter.
from the best-protected water sources can be polluted through any
given set of situations. Installing a filter in your water line is
a good idea but will not clean certain contaminants from your water
source. Some unwanted pollution can be filtered, and should be, but
a filter simply cannot catch all those things we do not want in our
water. Some commercials are written very well, but regardless of how
wonderful the filter is said to work, filters cannot and do not filter
out all bacteria and pathogens in water. Some things simply cannot