Once Again: Can You Really Trust the Safety of Your Well Water to Your Local Government?

Photo by Dave Gatley/FEMA News Photo

Photo by Dave Gatley/FEMA News Photo

I’m not sure if you have been following my other posts, but here’s another case where local health officials may have hid their heads in the sand when it comes to looking out for well owners.

The incident in the article I found is a case of he-said, she-said. I don’t know who to believe, but if I was a well owner and wanted to protect myself and my family following a flood, I’d be getting my well water tested ASAP! I wouldn’t be waiting around to see if my local health department was going to do it for me.

You can read the original article here.

I’m not saying that all local officials responsible for the quality of the drinking water in their area bury their head in the sand, but I’m not going to put something so important to me off onto someone else. I’d be looking for a professional testing lab I can trust to test enough parameters and who know the right parameters to test for so I know if I need to take steps to overcome any problems they may find.

The most serious problem requiring immediate action would be if a pathogenic bacteria like e-coli was found to be above the recommended level published by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). You don’t want to be messing with bacteria. The way to overcome this issue is to sanitize your well. You can get access to a free video about the reasons for doing this and the right way to sanitize your well through chlorination by going to this page. 

But….

…you also need to be aware of the results for other contaminants like metals and  volatile organic compounds. These contaminants can affect you and your family over time, since many are known carcinogens that can cause brain damage and cancer. Most of these can be handled by installing simple filters. Some may require other treatments. We are often asked by our customers to recommend the appropriate treatment following their water treatment.

So, bottom-line…

…if you use  a well for your drinking water and your property has been the victim of a flood, take action quickly and have your water tested by a professional lab. That’s what we do–test drinking water in our own professional lab. We are one of the oldest and largest mail-order water testing companies in in the U.S. We use only US EPA testing methods and our lab technicians have been working together for over 15 years. Our lab director has been in the water testing business over 25 years.

You can learn more about our most popular and most appropriate water testing service for well owners here.

 

Fracking and Well Water: Who Do We Believe?

Miner DrillingHere’s an article that professes to lay out the case that the EPA was coerced by the Obama Administration during the 2012 election to basically deny there was a link between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and groundwater contamination. This supposedly happened in an area of Pennsylvania. If true, it’s really a sad state of affairs.  We depend on the EPA to take its role seriously without political or other outside influences.

For me, it’s another indication that we individually need to take matters into our own hands.  This is especially true if we get our water from a well on our property. There are no government requirements for testing our well water for contaminants. If you live in an area where fracking is taking place, you could be subject to contamination because of the chemicals from the fracking operation  finding its way into your well water. If you live downhill from the drilling operation, I’d suggest you be especially vigilant.

So, what should you do to protect you and your family. Our recommendation is that you have your well water tested by a professional lab that follows EPA testing methods. The sooner you do before or after the fracking begins the better. That’s because it gives you a baseline that you can use to compare future tests against. We’d suggest you test on at least an annual basis. If you begin to see changes in the level of some contaminants, you can then take action to reduce or eliminate the level of those specific contaminants.

You might even take your reports to your local health department. In all honesty, they should be proactively testing well water in fracking areas, but that’s not the norm.

Click here to read the article about the EPA action that got me to write this post.

If you’re looking for more guidance about how to protect you and your family by having your well water tested, click here.

 

 

What Well Owners Living in Flooded Areas Need to Know

A county in Georgia issues a warning to well owners following a flood. Read about it here.  ajk-1736

Well owners whose property gets flooded should sanitize their well as a preventative measure. If they want, they can first have their water tested for the presence of pathogenic bacteria, but it’s highly advisable to chlorinate the well in any event

Why?

The well cover itself may have been breached allowing contaminants to enter their well. If they have a septic system on their property it’s possible that pathogenic bacteria has risen to the surface and entered the well housing. Once inside the well, these bacteria will find a host to grow on.

If you are going to have your water tested. at a minimum, test for the presence of pathogenic bacteria. It’s also a good idea to have a lab perform a more comprehensive test even if you have had one recently done because the flood waters may have introduced contaminants that were not previously reported.

Learn more about sanitizing a well from a noted water testing lab director by viewing this free video.

 

Water, Water Everywhere…but

We’ve been saying for a long time that well owners living near areas where their well water may be getting contaminated by ‘outside’ influences need to take matters into their own hands. In areas like those where hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as ‘fracking’, is used for natural gas exploration, homeowners need have a way to see if their water is being affected over time. textures-rivers-and-streams-300x200

In an article about Montauk Long Island, the local residents get that. They are setting up water testing facilities to monitor the swimming water in their area. As they say,  the testing “Results reflect conditions at a moment in time. The real value of testing is in mapping the trends.” Here’s a link to the article.

We say to those well owner who live in areas where they are concerned about the condition of their drinking water deteriorating over time because of things going on around them…

you need to start a water testing regimen now. Have your well water tested to create a baseline using a comprehensive water test from a professional lab. Then test your water on an annual basis, or more frequently if warranted. If you see a rise in the level of any of the parameters. you then take action. You can treat your well water to overcome the issue(s) and notify your local or state health authorities about your findings.

Having good information is the only way to know if you are in a trouble-zone or not. You cannot depend on anyone else doing this for you.

Read more about water testing, especially Essential Indicators water testing, and how it helps you get the right information in a very cost-effect way. Just click here.

Lee County Florida Warns Well Owners About Illnesses

Well owners in Lee County Florida have been encouraged by the Florida Department of Health to have their wells checked by a professional lab because they have found an increase in the levels of germs  in well water.

water splash abstract 295x200

Many well owners are complaining about the taste, color and smell of their well water. Their children are getting sick as well. The former problems are most likely due to what’s called ‘slime-forming bacteria’. The latter involving children getting sick could be caused by pathogenic bacteria.

You can read about this warning about Lee County Florida wells here.

We see these symptoms all the time. It’s why we developed a comprehensive water test for well owners where these bacterial contaminants are among the over 100 contaminants we test for.

And, if there is a bacteria problem, we put together a Well Water Wellness Kit that the homeowner can use to sanitize their well and end up with bacteria-free drinking water at a cost that’s a lot cheaper then hiring a so-called expert to do a less-than-adequate job.

We’ve put together a free video on the why and how behind chlorinating your well. Just go to this link

Private Well Owners | Drinking Water in New England | US EPA

The EPA recently put out a special notice targeted at well owners in New England. It urged them to have their water tested now because there may be problems with the quality of their water.

In the notice, whose link is below, they recommend that well owners get their water tested specifically for methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MtBE), radon and arsenic. We also believe you should be testing for other potential contaminants including bacteria, essential metals, heavy metals, inorganic chemicals, and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

We agree with this because neither the state nor the federal government control the quality of well water. It’s up to the homeowner to have their water tested and treat any problems themselves.

In addition to testing their water, well owners should also be sanitizing their wells on a periodic basis to keep bacteria levels below levels where they can either be harmful or can clog filters and give off foul odors.

You can learn more about both the testing and the sanitizing at www.drinkingwaterspecialists.com.

Here’s the link to the EPA notice for New England well owners:

Private Well Owners | Drinking Water in New England | US EPA.

Warning: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath Poses Health Danger for Well Owners

Warning: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath Poses

Health Danger for Well Owners

 

Homeowners who use their own well for their drinking water and who live in areas affected by flooding due to Hurricane Sandy need to sanitize their wells NOW.

County officials in many of the affected areas of New Jersey and New York, are stating:

“WARNING! DO NOT WASH WITH or DRINK WELL WATER

  • People drinking or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded will risk getting sick.
  • Flood Conditions at the Well – Swiftly moving floodwater can carry large debris that could loosen well hardware, dislodge well construction materials or distort casing.
  • Coarse sediment in the floodwaters could erode pump components. If the well is not tightly capped, sediment and floodwater could enter the well and contaminate it.
  • Wells that are more than 10 years old or less than 50 feet deep are likely to be contaminated, even if there is no apparent damage. Floods may cause some wells to collapse.”

The first step these homeowners need to take, after making sure their electrical service to the well pump is safe, is to sanitize their well. After the sanitizing process has been completed, they then need to test their well water for bacteria to make sure the water is safe for drinking and washing once again.

The homeowner can sanitize their well themselves. They don’t need to hire a plumber or well contractor to do this. First of all, it can be very expensive and secondly, most of these ‘professionals’ don’t know how to do it correctly.

Tom Mullen, the co-founder of Drinking Water Specialists, and the company’s lab director with nearly 30 years experience testing over 40,000 wells, has long preached that homeowners need to take control of the quality of their drinking water on at least an annual basis. But, in the aftermath of the horrific damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Mullen says, “Well owners need to take quick and effective action now to make sure their well water is safe for drinking and washing.”

Mr. Mullen and his team have developed a simple all-in-one well sanitizing kit called, the Well Water Wellness Kit, that enables virtually any homeowner to sanitize their well themselves.

The Well Water Wellness Kit contains everything the well owner needs for doing this, including detailed written and video instructions, the treatment media, and self-test tools to test for bacteria and chlorine. All the homeowner needs to supply is a bucket, a stirring rod, and a hose.

The Well Water Wellness Kit is available for immediate shipping and can be ordered from the website: http://50.87.144.41/~beekster/well-water-wellness-kit/ .

Drinking Water Specialists has a free on-line video called, “Chlorinating Your Well, The ‘Why’ and ‘How’ Behind Chlorination”. It’s available at www.drinkingwaterspecialists.com. Any well owner should watch this video so they can have better understanding about the importance of maintaining their well in normal times and in times like this.

Mr. Mullen is available for interviews.  He is very passionate about encouraging all homeowners to “Take Control – Manage the Quality of Your Drinking Water” and wants to help educate everyone about how to do this easily and in a cost effective way.

 

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Welcome to our Drinking Water Blog!

We have launched our new business and web site, Drinking Water Specialists, LLC. It’s been a longer process than we thought it would be, but we are finally here.

Our goal it help all people who are concerned about the quality of their drinking water have a resource they can go to for straight  and honest answers and advice. The only agenda we are pushing is for our visitors to take control of managing the quality of their drinking water, whether they have a well as the source for their water, or they are on  municipal water.

We hope you are one of these concerned homeowners.

We encourage our visitors to leave comments as well as ask questions that not only can help them, but can also help others.

We will mix up the posts to include our own thoughts and rants as well as point you to articles and other external resources we think can help you.

Here’s to healthy drinking water!