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Groundwater and wells: How to reduce

risks to your water supply
Cliff Treyens, NGWA Public Awareness Director
Webinar Information
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Purpose of Webinar: 
T k th t t f i f •Take the mystery out of caring for your
water well system.
•Teach you how to reduce
i k t t l risks to your water supply.
It’ t k t i ! It’s not rocket science!
Four basic steps: Four basic steps:
•Proper well location and construction
•Regular well system maintenance
•Water testing & treatment
•Groundwater protection
Well location & construction Well location & construction
•“Qualified”water well systemcontractor or • Qualified water well system contractor or
hydrogeologist should determine well location.
•What’s qualified?
How to Find a Contractor @
www wellowner org www.wellowner.org
R l ll t Regular well system
maintenance maintenance
W ll i t d •Well maintenance reduces
risks to water
supply by catching broken or supply by catching broken or
deteriorating well components
•Well maintenance prevents
costly and inconvenient
breakdowns.
Well maintenance checklist @
ll www.wellowner.org
•Equipment to make sure •Equipment to make sure
it’s sanitary
•Flowrate Flow rate
•Pump performance
•Pressure tank
•Pressure switch contacts
Oth i t Other maintenance:
•Service water treatment
equipment according to
manufacturer’s
recommendations.
•Regularly check your
well cap to make sure
it’s not loose or broken.
Water testing
Questions: Questions:
•How often should I test?
•What should I test?
•How do I interpret results?
•What if there is a health concern?
Step 1: As part of your well maintenance,
check to see if your well system needs
cleaning.
Why?
Debris in wells can harbor
bacterial growth and impair
disinfection.
Step 2: What and when to test—
www wellowner org www.wellowner.org
Test annually:
B t i •Bacteria
•Nitrates
A thi f l l •Anything of local concern
(naturally occurring or manmade)
Test immediately if:
•Change in water’s taste,
odor, or appearance
•Broken well cap or new
contamination source contamination source
•Recurrent gastrointestinal Recurrent gastrointestinal
illnesses
Test immediately if:
•Pregnant woman or infant
living in house g
•Dangerous contaminant
in neighbor’s water
•Check treatment •Check treatment
equipment performance
W t t ti l b Water testing labs
•Start by checking with your county health or
i t l h lth d t t environmental health department
•Or check with your state’s drinking water laboratory Or check with your states drinking water laboratory
certification officer
•National testing labs: www.ul.com or
www.ntllabs.com
Water quality—www.wellowner.org
Checking water test results:
•Ask water testing lab about
h lth i k any health risks
• Or check results against the • Or check results against the
U.S. EPA’s MCL (Maximum
Contaminant Level) )
List applied to public
water systems
Water treatment
If, after well maintenance,
health risks remain, talk
with a qualified water well q
system contractor about
appropriate treatment. pp p
Groundwater Quality Basics-- Groundwater Quality Basics
www.wellowner.org
Getting the right water treatment
Make sure the treatment
device’s specifications
match:
Th b t d •The substances you need
to treat
•The concentrations of the The concentrations of the
substances you wish to treat
Groundwater protection Groundwater protection
•Locate any abandoned wells on your property
•Water well contractor should make sure abandoned well is
properly decommissioned p p y
•Have your septic system checked regularly
•Keep roof and other drainage away from septic
absorption field
•Proper use, store and dispose of
hazardous household substances
(don’t dump, flush or pour down drain)
Hazardous household substances examples:
•Gasoline & oil
•Paints and paint
thinner
•Fertilizers
•Weed killers
•Pesticides
•Cleaning products
Summary: You can greatly reduce Summary: You can greatly reduce
risks to your water supply by:
•Proper well location and construction
R l ll t i t •Regular well system maintenance
•Water testing & treatment
G d t t ti •Groundwater protection
www.wellowner.org
Questions? Questions?
For more information...
www.wellowner.org