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Water

Health Effects

  • Over 19 million Americans suffer contaminated water born illnesses each year
  • Illnesses range from gastrointestinal to blue baby syndrome and even cancers such as prostate, stomach, pancreatic and kidney cancers
  • Neurological, nervous and reproductive disorders have also been known to occur
  • Recently in Flint, MI 10 people have died from Legionnaire's disease and another 77 diagnosed along with numerous cases of lead poisoning in blood tests of children
  • Water born diseases are noted in both private and public water supplies
  • Learn more about how contaminated water can affect human health and water diseases


Statistics

  • Locally, 17% of homes on residential wells test positive for some level of water contamination.
  • The percentage of homeowners with residential wells that test their drinking water is low so the statistics could be higher and many only test once when they buy a home and do not know to test annually because levels can change and contamination can happen at any time.


Testing

  • Testing of private well water should be conducted annually or when a change in color, odor or taste occurs
  • Homes built before 1970 on city utilities should be tested for lead coming from pipes
  • Bacteria test samples can only be taken in a laboratory provided bottle.  This bottle is sterile, sealed and contains a preservative.  
  • Most other water tests can generally be sampled from any container.
  • Cost of sampling is per contaminate and runs $25 and up.  Some tests such as metals, VOC's and pesticides can be run in scans that include more than one contaminate and do cost more.
  • When buying or refinancing a home, sometimes well water testing is required.  FHA and VA loans require testing for bacteria (total coliform and ecoli), nitrates, nitrites and lead.  USDA loans require testing for bacteria (total coliform and ecoli) and nitrates.  Some local governments have their own requirements.
  • For help with compliance testing for real estate transactions, new wells, refinancing, pools, or businesses, please call our office, YES, we do that!
     

Remediation

  • If your water tests positive for bacteria, then you will need to chlorinate your well.  You can do this yourself (consult local health department for instructions) or call your favorite well company.  Pricing is around $165.  
  • Other cases when well chlorination should be performed include...
    • After flooding
    • After plumbing installation, e.g. such as softeners, sinks, filters, etc
    • After casing or pump repairs - submersible types or other
    • When water taste or odor changes, e.g. from iron or sulfur reducing bacteria
    • As part of annual maintenance
    • During start up of seasonal wells
  • If your water tests over the limit for other contaminates such as nitrates, lead, arsenic, etc. a reverse osmosis system will need to be installed to reduce contaminates.  In most cases these systems are installed under the kitchen sink and used for drinking and cooking. Pricing starts at $475 installed and can be more depending on what kind of filters are needed. Only in special cases would a whole house system be needed.  
  • The Reverse Osmosis systems we install are 5-stage, made in the USA, and come with a 5 year warranty.  Learn more about our RO systems here.
  • For homes with high iron where staining is prominent, a water treatment company that specializes in iron filters would need to be contacted.

 

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