Water Well Treatment
A crystal clear glass of water on a hot humid day is truly refreshing. Perhaps your water comes from one of the 20 million privately owned wells in the United States. Or, your water may be supplied by the municipality that you live in; sometimes supplied from well water. In both cases you can rest assured there are safety standards, devices, and products in place to ensure quality drinking water from wells. However, if you own a private well, when and how do you treat your water? Also, if living in a municipality, what guidelines govern the treatment of your well water?
Basically it is up to the owner of the well to monitor the quality of the water. Typically, at installation of the well it is confirmed the well is free from microbiological contamination. However, some health departments are requiring testing of the well water when property changes ownership. Water can be tested at some local health departments or privately accredited laboratories.
Hardness of Water
Gasoline and Additive MTB
Observation of odors and colors will also determine what type of water treatment is needed. Water analysis should be done if your water has an odor of rotten eggs, musty moldy odor, or laundry shows red, black, or brown stains. All water tests and analyses should be compared with the safe levels and standards of the EPA and your state's drinking water regulations for contaminants that may exceed public safety standards. It is at this point you will need to determine the appropriate treatment.
If you decide to use a home water treatment device, make sure you follow manufacturer's instructions. The well water should be tested whenever there is any type of adjustment to the system. An annual analysis will determine if any filters, cartridges, or components need replaced. Make sure your device also has the NSF seal. To be effective, some water treatment technology must include a pre-treatment of a water softener or pre-chlorination (nitrates and certain forms of arsenic).
If you use a home water treatment system make sure it is also NSF certified. This labeling will ensure the manufacturer of the system has met the standards of the American National Standards (ANSI) and that the materials used have been deemed safe by toxicologists for use with potable water. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer's written instructions.
Municipalities that Use Well Water
Consumers concerned about the treatment of their well water governed by a municipality can be confident of the safety and quality of their drinking water. The municipality must meet EPA and state regulations in compliance with public safety and drinking water. If you have a question about the quality of your water treatment, contact your local sanitation or water department.
Everything you use in treatment of your well water should have the NSF seal of approval. The NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation International) is an independent, non-government, not-for-profit organization that certifies products and writes standards for consumer goods, food and water worldwide. They test all water treatment systems, products, and devices to confirm they meet American National Standards (ANSI) for material safety and/or the ability to reduce contaminants. This organization has many accreditations and works in conjunction with all EPA, state and national standards for public health and safety.
To be prepared it may be a wise idea to keep an emergency water filter on hand at all times.