The most important resource for humans is water.  Many wars and battles have been fought over access to reliable, clean, freshwater sources.  As anyone who has seen a survival show will tell you, a person may survive weeks without food but will only survive a few days without water.  In fact, after oxygen, water is the most used resource by people and animals. Given the importance of water to our survival, it is important to perform regular water testing to make sure the water continues to be safe for consumption.

What Happens If I Do Not Test My Water?

Water that is provided by a municipality is required, under law, to be tested.  Although the water in the aquifer is naturally clean and purified, it does not mean that it is completely free from dangerous chemicals or toxins.  Many private water wells may become contaminated with toxins that cannot be seen by the naked eye, tasted, or even smelled.  These toxins, when consumed, can cause humans or animals to become sick or even die.

How Does My Private Well Become Contaminated?

The most common way private wells become contaminated is from vegetation surrounding the well.  When the vegetation becomes fertilized, the minerals or nitrates can seep into the well water.  Additionally, as vegetation dies, it decomposes into the ground thus causing more nitrates for the ground to absorb.

Another way wells become contaminated is through the high level of mineral deposits in the ground.  The most common types are lead, iron, or mercury.  These minerals, if consumed, can make both humans and animals very sick.

Lastly, your private well water can become contaminated through the decomposition of the pipes.

What Is A Water Test?

The most common form of regular water testing is called a general mineral analysis.  The general mineral analysis water test will take water samples from a private water well to determine if there are any harmful minerals, bacteria, or toxins in the water.  If the private water well is located in an urban area, close to an industrial area, commercial agricultural areas, or close to a highway, then it will also test for other organic compounds such as gas, oil, pesticides, or herbicides.

What Are Proper Testing Techniques?

It is important to make sure when taking a water sample from a private well, that directions are properly followed.  What may seem like minor technicalities can make a huge difference in getting accurate test results.  For example, if you test hot water instead of the water as it normally comes out, the temperature difference can cause different results.

Some important steps to follow when collecting water for a test sample is as follows:

  • Wash hands with soap and water prior to collecting the water sample.
  • Use a tap without a screen to avoid contaminants in the screen.
  • Let the water run, preferably cold, for at least two minutes before taking the sample.
  • Do not overfill the test bottle
  • Seal the test bottle immediately.
  • Make sure the test bottle has proper identification.

Important mistakes to avoid when collecting water for a test sample:

  • Do not open the test bottle until you are ready to collect the sample
  • Do not pre-rinse the test bottle
  • Avoid placing the test bottle cap facedown anywhere as it may get contaminated.
  • Do not touch the inside of the bottle.
  • Do not use an outside tap or house to get the water sample from.

Can I Hire A Professional To Test My Water?

Many companies provide water testing as a service.  If you would like a professional to come and test your water, please contact us at Accurate Drilling to schedule a water test appointment.