Frequently Asked Questions
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) recommends well owners test their water at least annually for bacteria, nitrates, and any contaminants of local concern. More frequent testing should be considered if:
- There is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source
- The well has a history of bacterial contamination
- The septic system has recently malfunctioned
- Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
- An infant is living in the home, or
- To monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.
Forty-seven percent of the United States depend on groundwater for their basic drinking water supply. Having a basic understanding about groundwater quality will help ensure that your well is supplying potable water for your household.
Along with human activities, water quality is affected by a combination of natural processes. Most relate to chemical compositions underground. However, other factors such as biological, physical, and radiological conditions can affect water quality as well.
Properly constructed and maintained water well systems are designed to keep microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from getting inside the well system and into the water. When a water test indicates the presence of microorganisms in a well, disinfection of the well system is recommended along with some level of inspection.