20 Jan 2014

Dangerous Water Contaminants

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Keeping Your Water Contaminant Free

Keeping Your Water Supply CleanThey are invisible to the naked eye and often difficult to test for without professional help. We’re talking about water contaminants that foul the water supply.  Municipalities constantly test for impurities at water treatment facilities. For private wells, however, the responsibility of finding, fixing and preventing these pollutants is on the owner.

Not all well water impurities are inherently dangerous. Some minerals actually improve the taste and quality of water. But homeowners should know which contaminants cause trouble, and be vigilant in making sure these things don’t infect their drinking water. Let’s take a look at some of these impurities and explain why they may be bad for you.

Types of Water Contaminants & Impurities

Microorganisms. Microscopic organisms include bacteria and viruses, and do sometimes appear in water. Shallower wells are more prone to contamination. Coliform bacteria are especially common and cause many illnesses. They often reach wells through runoff from farms, sewage plants, wild animals and other sources where waste is present. Water should be routinely tested and wells thoroughly cleaned to prevent the spread of microorganisms.

Heavy metals. Arsenic, lead and other heavy elements are naturally found in rocky soil. While not very common, heavy metal contamination can lead to a number of serious health problems, even death. Heavy metals enter wells when underground water flows through rocks and soil containing these materials. It is important to have well water tested annually by a certified drinking water laboratory.

Nitrates. Nitrates are commonly found in fertilizers. Therefore, rural wells in agriculture-rich areas face a higher risk of nitrate contamination, especially after heavy rain and flooding. Plants rely on nitrates for growth, and the leftover nitrates absorb into soil and leach into groundwater. Nitrates are especially harmful to babies, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

Radionuclides. Radioactive elements include radon and uranium, and result from natural and manmade occurrences. Radionuclides are naturally found in rocks and soil, but waste that originates at power plants and medical facilities may also contribute to their presence in water supplies. Exposure to radiation is associated with a higher risk of cancer

Industrial products. All sorts of hazardous materials pose potential dangers to water supplies and wells. Petroleum products, cleaning chemicals and solvents, paints, landfill waste and other harmful substances can enter water supplies through accidental leaks and/or deliberate human activity. Depending on the material, health problems can range from minor to severe.

Regular Water Contaminant Treatment

In order to keep you and your family safe and your water supply clean, you must take regular care of your well. Again, it is up to you and only you to ensure your well is safe to use and your water is safe to drink. Regular testing, cleaning and professional analysis help maintain the highest quality water, and keep well components in good working order. C&J Well Company helps homeowners across central Indiana with everything from well digging and installation, to comprehensive maintenance and certified water testing.

For more information on keeping your water supply fresh and impurity-free, contact C&J to learn more about our expert well services.