How to Treat Private Well Water
Being that southern Maryland is full of rural areas there are many properties that are on well water systems. And unlike being connected to the main water system for a city, private well water does not benefit from filtration and disinfection systems the local government provides before it comes through the tap inside your home.
Your private well does not need to meet certain criteria standards set by the local government and public water suppliers before entering your home. That being said, you want to make sure that drinking water in your home is safe to consume.
You want to treat your well water for contaminants like sulfate, nitrates, iron, and chloroform bacteria. In order to do this, a homeowner will need to install a well water treatment system. Some of the systems you can use include water softeners, whole house water filters, disinfection systems, and distillers. These are all very effective in getting the harmful contaminants out of well water making it safe to use in your home.
It is Important to Test Your Well Water
Private wells collect untreated groundwater also known as surface water and it can contain a large number of different contaminants. Some of these contaminants are dangerous to human health and some are not harmful but can alter the taste or smell of your water making it unpleasant.
The natural levels of minerals and impurities within the soil where you live will determine what level of contaminants are within your well water. Other activities such as ruptured septic tanks and agricultural runoff from nearby farms can affect the quality of your water as well.
For these reasons it is very important to routinely test your well water making sure that it is consistently within safe levels for consumption. Testing well water gives you information as to whether you are drinking dangerous levels of contaminants but it also allows you to learn about other aspects of your water.
From testing, you can also learn about the hardness of your water and its mineral content. Knowing this information allows you to be aware of how the presence of these minerals can wear down the systems within your home such as pipes and other plumbing fixtures.
The best way to test your water is to have a state-certified laboratory conduct the testing.
Well Water Treatment Systems
There are many different types of well water treatment systems and each is geared toward the removal of different contaminants within well water. The most common well water treatment systems include:
A water softener is installed at the main water line of your home to affect every bit of water throughout the entire house. A softener addresses one of the largest problems with well water which is hardness. A water softener helps to lessen the impact of high levels of calcium and magnesium within water that can cause scale which is damaging and unsightly.
Whole House Filters
A whole house filtration system is most commonly made up of two tanks. A small one that protects a sediment pre-filter and a large one that holds related filter media. These tanks remove impurities commonly entering the groundwater source. Most often items like iron, arsenic, nitrate, sulfate, and other heavy metals.
Whole house filtration systems use oxidation to eliminate contaminants from private well water. The well water flows through an air pocket as the impurities oxidize. The filter media then traps contaminants and allows only clean water to flow into the home.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems can be installed to bring water to the entire home or provide you with filtered water at one sink like the kitchen faucet. This is a system that is considered one of the most effective for removing a large range of contaminants that may pose health risks.
Chemical Disinfection Systems
A chemical disinfection system mimics the large-scale disinfecting process that water treatment facilities for local governments run. This type of filter uses a disinfectant such as chlorine or chlorine dioxide that is injected in measured quantities into the water. Most often this type of system stores water in a large tank which allows the chemical plenty of time to disinfect the water before it enters your home.
The best way to know which water treatment system is best for your private well in southern Maryland is to talk with a local expert. In many cases when you purchase a home in southern Maryland there will already be a system in place. It is a good idea to ask your home inspector about the system and how it works.
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