When we buy a home, it will either have well water or city water. Some people prefer one over the other and some really don’t care. Well water refers to the water that is contained in underground aquifers and is accessed through wells. It is considered a natural source of fresh water and is commonly used for various purposes such as drinking, irrigation, and household needs. Where does well water come from? It comes from underground aquifers and when drilling into the well, water is pumped out.
Let’s learn more about well water.
What’s in Well Water?
The composition of well water can vary depending on the geological characteristics of the area where the well is located. Generally, well water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. It may also contain traces of contaminants like bacteria, viruses, pesticides, and heavy metals if proper measures are not taken to ensure its purity.
My Home Has Well Water, What Does That Mean?
Having well water means that you rely on groundwater as your primary source of water. Unlike municipal water supplies that are treated and regulated, well water requires personal responsibility for water quality and maintenance.
Where Does Well Water Come From?
Well water comes from underground aquifers, which are layers of permeable rocks or sediments that hold water. These aquifers are recharged by rainfall and surface water that infiltrates into the ground. When a well is drilled into these aquifers, water is pumped out for use.
How Does Well Water Work?
Well water is typically accessed using a pump system that draws water up from the well. The pump is usually powered by electricity or can be driven by a manual mechanism. The water is then stored in a pressure tank or directed to the intended point of use.
Pros of Well Water
There are several advantages to using well water:
- Cost savings: Well water is generally more cost-effective than relying on a municipal water supply.
- Independence: Having your own well provides independence from public water utilities and potential water shortages during emergencies.
- Mineral-rich: Well water often contains beneficial minerals that can contribute to good health.
Cons of Well Water
Despite its benefits, there are also some drawbacks to well water:
- Water quality concerns: If not properly maintained, well water may become contaminated with harmful substances, necessitating regular testing and treatment.
- Upfront costs: Drilling a well and installing a pump system can be expensive.
- Limited supply: The amount of water available in a well is finite and can be depleted during periods of drought or excessive usage.
How to Keep Contamination Away
To ensure the purity of well water and prevent contamination, follow these guidelines:
1. Regularly test the water for various contaminants.
2. Maintain a safe distance between the well and potential sources of contamination, such as septic systems, fuel storage areas, and livestock.
3. Properly seal and cap the well to prevent surface water runoff and infiltration.
4. Practice responsible use of chemicals and dispose of hazardous substances correctly.
5. Educate yourself on proper well maintenance and seek professional assistance when needed.
Take a look below at a video about how wells work.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know about where well water comes from, let’s take a look at a few other areas of maintenance. One of those is brown well water. When it is brown, it means it possibly has a lot of iron in it, but it could also be other reasons. The other reasons may be an issue with the pipes or the need for a water softener.
Another is how long a well lasts. They can last from 30-50 years and even sometimes 100 years! It is a great idea to keep up with the maintenance so you get as much life as possible out of it.
Lastly, many wonder if there is fluoride in well water. There is fluoride in well water so it is just as nutritious as city water. However, it is a good idea to have the water tested every three years to make sure the fluoride levels are not too high.
When to Call a Professional
It is advisable to contact a professional if you experience any of the following issues:
- Sudden changes in water quality or taste.
- Persistent odor or discoloration.
- Reduced water pressure or flow.
- Mechanical failure or unusual noises from the well system.
Well water is a valuable natural resource that provides many benefits, including cost savings and independence from public utilities. However, it requires responsible management and regular monitoring to ensure its safety and quality. By following proper maintenance practices and seeking professional help when needed, you can enjoy the advantages of well water while minimizing the risks associated with contamination. Call on the Bentley Home Inspection team for a well inspection in East Tennessee, and surrounding areas.