How clean is your well water? Are you buying a home with a private well? What things can contaminate your water? These are all important questions. Below are a few of the things that are common pollutants in well water that are made by people, and something we want all of our clients to look out for:
- Often called factory farms, the first human-led pollutant we will discuss are concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). With animals all growing within a small space, the water supplies can be at risk due to the animal waste and manure. Therefore, pathogen and nutrient issues need to be prevented by introducing careful manure management systems. Also, the salts within manure can pollute the ground water.
- For nitrates and bacteria, these will typically arrive from human waste and septic tanks. However, it can also come from animal waste as before so both systems have to manage the waste efficiently to prevent pollution. Since sanitary landfills can pollute, children and those with a weak immune system such as AIDS sufferers especially tend to be more prone to waterborne bacteria. For nitrate, this can come from fertilizers and present a dangerous health problem to babies and infants called ‘blue baby syndrome’. Essentially, this will completely disrupt the flow of oxygen in the blood.
- When looking into a well on a farm, pesticides and fertilizers are clearly a major consideration. However, it isn’t just farms as they can also be found in suburban lawns and golf courses. With the job of reducing insect damage, they obviously contain dangerous chemicals that threaten ground water. For many fertilizers, the nitrogen can break down to then become nitrate. With some drainage systems on agricultural land, water can collect pesticides and fertilisers which affects the ground water as well as local rivers and streams. Aside from this, you should also be careful with chemicals that treat homes for termites. Though the problem is already severe, it becomes somewhat magnified with certain soil types and large amounts of water flowing through.