You should be aware because the Safe Drinking Water Act does not protect private wells. EPA’s rules only apply to “public drinking water systems” — government or privately run companies supplying water to 25 people or 15 service connections.
The quality of your water and the risk of having problems depends on how good your well is — how well it was built and located, and how well you maintain it. It also depends on your local environment. That includes the quality of the aquifer from which you draw your water and the human activities going on in your area that can affect your well water.
If you have a private water well, then water quality testing should be important to you and your family. Some contaminants in drinking water have been linked to cancer and toxicity, posing a risk to human health. Many contaminants often have no taste, odor or color. Their presence can only be determined by laboratory testing
Well water originates as snow and rain that then filters into the ground. As it soaks through the soil and rock, the water can dissolve materials that are present on or in the ground, becoming contaminated. Some contaminants are naturally occurring from rocks and soils and commonly occur in well water at unsafe levels. These include bacteria, radon, arsenic, uranium and other minerals.
Other contaminants find their way onto the land or into groundwater from human activities. Industrial/commercial activities, improper waste disposal, road salting, and fuel spills can introduce hazardous substances to the ground. However, even typical residential activities, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides, fueling of lawn equipment, and disposal of household chemicals can contaminate the ground when done improperly. That is why taking measures to protect your well from contamination is so important.
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