Heavy snow and springtime flooding threatens well water, making spring the perfect time for a professional well water test. In Waukesha WI and all of Southern Wisconsin well water should be tested every year. If you’re in an area where flooding has been an issue, testing twice a year is a good idea. The results of the test coupled with routine inspections dictate a well maintenance program for your installation.
Floods increase the risk of bacteria and nitrate filtering into ground water from the surface. An area with high marks in a well water test a year or two ago could be flagged for a health risk after a flood.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anyone with a well in or near a flooded area to assume their water is contaminated. Wells that don’t show obvious signs of contamination are in danger. The same is true for areas where melting snow is running through agricultural land.
Well Water Test Detects Threats
Tainted well water is a threat to your water system. More importantly, it threatens the health of people and pets.
Threats to health and wellbeing, include:
- Dangerous bacteria – coliform bacteria is a dangerous bacteria often found in drinking water. It often shows itself as cloudy water, a strange taste or strange color. Any of those symptoms dictate an immediate well water test.
- Nitrate – nitrates are a form of nitrogen causing health problems. Especially dangerous to young children. Nitrates seep into ground water from farm runoff after snow melts or land floods.
- Chloride – appears in ground water from leaking or flooded septic systems. Flood waters carry debris from landfills, fertilizer spills or road salt. All are possible sources of chlorides.
- Lead– leaches into well water from many sources. It is extremely dangerous.
There are elements threatening your home. The most common elements threatening plumbing and fixtures are:
- Alkalinity – alkalinity is the level of salts in the water. Salts change the taste of well water. More importantly they are extremely corrosive. Salt buildup damages pump parts and pipes.
- Other corrosive threats – lime and other corrosives can build up in pipes and fixture where they cause leaks, broken pump parts and poor performance.
React To Changes – Plan Well Maintenance
Liquids follow the path of least resistance and ground water follows the contours of the land from high ground to lower locations. Flooding and runoff from melting snow and heavy rain contribute to well water threats. An area of little concern in previous years might be at risk today thanks to changing land uses. Local changes include:
- Land use practices – cultivation practices on nearby farms impact the flow of water and the spread of contaminants. Changing applications of chemicals and animal waste are examples of how farm practices relate to ground water.
- Construction projects – new housing developments for streets and highways change the natural flow of water. Commercial developments with large parking lots contribute to runoff flows. New developments often contribute new pollutants as well.
- Extreme runoff – whether from drenching rains or melting snow flooding from water running off fields, lawns and farmlands is a concern. Runoff floods and overflows septic systems. It shifts animal waste and chemicals. As flood waters soak in, these contaminants enter the ground water and get into wells.
What can you do to guard against these threats? Except for regular well maintenance and scheduled water testing there’s little you can do, but at least for this maintenance you can use services as the Coquitlam’s best plumber to help you with this. You do have several resources to help monitor what’s going on in and around your neighborhood. Two recommended sites are:
- The Well Water Quality Viewer, created by the Center for Watershed Science and Education, at the University of Wisconsin – Steven Point. It provides searchable data on test results from private wells across the state.
- The Wisconsin DNR’s recommendations including links to certified testing labs. If you grow your own food, UW-Extension has a Guide to help ensure produce from flooded gardens is safe.
Well Test Records Are Critical
A benchmark for what’s happened in the past aids setting up your maintenance plan. It helps professionals make the right decisions to improve water quality. In Wisconsin accurate record-keeping is the law. Regulations include:
- All drilled or jetted wells installed since 1930 must have a detailed construction report on file.
- Since 1989 these documents have been required for Sandpoint wells, too.
Detailed reports on all wells completed since 1989 are available on the Wisconsin DNR website . Each report includes:
- The date the well was drilled
- An original owner’s name
- Distances from structures – septic tanks, etc. when the well was installation
- The diameter and depth of the hole
- The type of casing and a list of all materials used
- The type and depth of soil and rock formation
- Depth of the water table when the well was installation
- Water yield on the date it was installation
Accurate Well Water Test – Call A Pro
An annual inspection is a valuable investment just like the residential septic tank cleaning is, there are things that you can’t afford to let them break because you need them every single day. During a detailed inspection you’ll get answers to questions and insights into potential well maintenance needs. In addition you’ll get the peace of mind that accompanies a professional evaluation.
Rely upon experienced, trained, licensed professionals at Schoenwalder Plumbing for the latest products, repairs and installations. Call or email Schoenwalder Plumbing – we’ll create a well maintenance plan and complete a well water test for your system in Waukesha or Lake Country.