- Microorganisms. This includes a wide array of tiny critters that can live in your well water and make you sick. Bacteria, viruses and parasites live everywhere and can make their way into your well’s water. Water runoff can wash them into your well. Leaking waste from underground storage tanks or septic systems can also contaminate your well.
- Nitrates and Nitrites. These chemicals are commonly found in fertilizer, sewage and animal waste. They can wind up in your well water through runoff or seepage and once they make their way into the human bloodstream can inhibit the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In infants, this is commonly called “blue baby syndrome.”
- Heavy Metals. This includes metals like arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium and more. They can contaminate your well water if they are present in household plumbing or service lines. They can also be introduced into your well water from mining operations, petroleum refineries, electronics manufacturers, municipal waste disposal, cement plants and natural mineral deposits. Drinking high levels of heavy metals can increase your risk for liver, kidney and intestinal damage. They can cause anemia and cancer.
- Organic Chemicals. These are used in many household products and in inks, dyes, pesticides, paints, pharmaceuticals, solvents, petroleum products, sealants and disinfectants. Organic chemicals contaminate wells after entering ground water through waste disposal, spills and surface water run-off. They can damage your kidneys, liver, circulatory system, nervous system and reproductive system.
- Radionuclides. This includes radioactive forms of elements such as uranium and radium. Radionuclides can contaminate private wells through groundwater flow, waste water seepage and flooding. Drinking water with radionuclides can cause toxic kidney effects and increase the risk of cancer.
- Fluoride. We hear about fluoride in city water, but it can also be present naturally in well water. Fluoride is used to help prevent tooth decay, but excessive consumption of fluoride can cause a condition characterized by pain and tenderness of bones and joints. Children who get too much fluoride while their teeth are forming may get dental fluorosis, tooth discoloration and/or pitting of teeth.
Whether or not your well water is safe for your family to drink is up to you. With city water, the job falls to trained professionals who constantly monitor water quality. Not the case if your home’s water supply comes from your well. Glaser Softwater can help you make sure your well water is safe. Safe from what? All kinds of contaminants. Let’s take a look at a few.