The most common question consumers have about their water is whether or not it is safe and healthy to drink. For private well owners, this is a difficult question to answer unless the well has a filtration system that is certified to eliminate/reduce the most common contaminants. Water quality can change at any time and particularly with the seasons, so even annual testing recommended by the Sate of Oregon Drinking Water Division may not reveal contamination issues. The State of Oregon recommends testing for nitrates and bacteria once a year, and at least have one arsenic test in your well system files. Our water professionals recommend water testing during the Spring and/or Fall. This is when contaminants may be more likely present and provides insight into how clean your water is at the most vulnerable times.
A single test does not necessarily reveal a picture of overall water quality. A water test is simply a snap shot, a moment in time. Because water is fluid (pun intended) quality can change at any time. Most water contaminants that can affect your health are tasteless, colorless and odorless. A real example of how a well, that is regularly tested, can still have issues is a customer of ours that previously had clean tests, and then suddenly the family were having stomach issues. After additional testing, it was confirmed that the well did in fact have contaminant issues, even with a history of clean bacteria tests.
One test a year is not sufficient to provide peace of mind that the water is safe to drink. Remember that children under 5, as well as senior adults are more vulnerable to water contaminants and EPA standards for water contaminants are set for healthy adults. It is also important to remember that nitrates and bacteria testing don’t account for other potential water contaminants that may be in well water, such as agricultural pollutants like pesticides and herbicides. A water filtration system, along with regular water testing is the only solution that will provide a well owner confidence that the water is safe and healthy for the whole family. In further posts we’ll discuss the two types of treatment we recommend, that give the protection and peace of mind that many well owners are seeking for their family’s drinking water.