After months of concern there has been no evidence that COVID-19 in well water is a threat to Waukesha WI area home owners. COVID-19 is the viral disease caused by the novel coronavirus encompassing the world. While the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is investigating, the new virus is similar to other human coronaviruses that can survive in the environment. So, all the national, state and regional agencies recommend well water testing. Always a good idea at least once a year anyway, peace of mind this year is worth an extra effort, right?
Disinfection of all areas around faucets, sinks and drains is the first line of defense against any disease agents – virus or bacteria. That includes washing hands and all surfaces. As more information on the rapidly spreading disease becomes available additional precautions are likely. Leading health organizations around the world are applying technical expertise and gathering new information every day.
A notable element repeated in recent statements references the safety of “treated” drinking water. Municipal water systems filter and treat the water they distribute. Private wells do not. While the chances of this virus getting into your drinking water remain low, precautions are worth the extra effort.
Test Now For Threats Like COVID-19 In Well Water
If you haven’t had an annual water test done on your private water well this year, have it done soon. Test the water both at its source in the well and at taps in your home. Summing up the test results provides details on where a problem may reside. The quality of water can change as it moves through the system. Where a contaminant enters is important.
Rainfall totals are already above average for the region with the wettest month (August) yet to come. Flooding rains and rapid snow-melt threaten ground water quality.
The first step in protecting your family’s drinking water is bringing in a licensed professional to test for Covid-19 in well water. The list of “normal” contaminants threatening your well is already a long one – and growing all the time. Foreign agents creep into ground water from all kinds of sources.
Wisconsin State law requires accurate water testing. You have to produce written records of all the tests and treatments when you sell the property.
What Standard Well Water Tests Look For
The threat from the headline-grabbing virus is on everyone’s mind. And, relevant tests to find it are appropriate. No water source has been recorded as “positive” for it yet. More importantly, there are threats to your family health more likely to move through drinking water. That’s why well water is routinely tested for the following:
- Nitrates – recent reports show that nitrates are showing up in more and more southern Wisconsin water supplies. A form of nitrogen it’s a serious threat, especially to small children. A positive test for nitrates often means other contaminants are present as well. New wells are often tested more often than older ones. Established wells should be tested periodically, too.
- Bacteria – disease-carrying bacteria is present in water and soil. The most common, coliform bacteria, moves through the ground into ground water. When flooding rains threaten your property the risk goes up. If there’s a change in your water’s color, taste or clarity have it tested right away – even if you’ve had a test done earlier in the year.
- Lead – another heavy metal that’s still found too often in Wisconsin water systems. The dangerous element leaches into water supplies from old pipes and external sources. Lead poisoning is real even in the 21st
- Chloride – high levels of chloride are a sign a nearby landfill or septic system is leaking. Or, local farming operations are applying too much fertilizer.
Don’t Delay Water Well Tests
It’s easy to put off water well tests, especially in 2020 with all the restrictions and concerns. If you’ve put off the annual test because of sheltering in place or other changes in lifestyle, consider doing it as soon as possible. Especially if you or someone in the family has tested positive for COVID-19 or a family member has a serious health issue. Not knowing your water is safe for drinking, bathing and cooking can keep you awake at night, right? Getting the facts not only safeguards the family, it provides peace of mind – or an action plan. Test for Covid-19 in well to:
- Identify an existing problem
- Head off potential problems
- Protect your family
- Track sources of concern
- Understand how your water system is working
As a well owner you’re also required to keep detailed records of every inspection, test and treatment. Records that include:
- All test dates
- Any results, findings from water testing
- Actions taken as the result of tests
- Inspection details
- Repair specifics – to pipes, pumps, etc.
In addition to testing the water, regularly inspect all the hardware associated with the well. Damaged or worn component parts are access points for contaminants. Check the pipes, pumping system and the wellhead itself for damage, corrosion and excess wear.
Don’t Assume COVID-19 In Well Water Can’t Happen
There are so many potential sources of contamination lurking in the environment COVID-19 may be the least of your concerns. Knowing it and the other pollutants are out there is reason enough to pursue a rigorous water testing plan. Is there anything more important to your family’s health than the water your drink and cook with?
The testing process can be as simple as taking samples on your own and sending them to state-approved labs for analysis. Better yet, call upon the staff of licensed, trained professional plumbers at Schoenwalder Plumbing to collect samples and inspect the entire system. Our certified plumbing professionals guarantee accurate sampling and testing. And they’re ready to complete any repairs or replacements you need.
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more accurate than in these difficult times. Testing and appropriate daily cleaning are the line of defense. So far, (mid-July 2020) there are no reports of COVID-19 in well water in Waukesha WI or Lake Country – let’s keep it that way!